DDN BLOG

Our engineering team has been real busy in 2020. We’ve constantly been improving our EXAScaler® solution to help you unlock new ways to innovate through more granular control of your data, streamline workflows, and deliver the ultimate performance to reduce time to discovery. Here’s a super quick review of what we have now added into the latest EXAScaler (5.2) plus all the other enhancements in 2020:

Hot Pools: Now in its third release, Hot Pools performs background data movement between Flash and HDD based Pools. This third release is significant since in performs data movement of cooling files into the HDD pool, and now moves hot files from HDD pool to Flash Pool. This happens in the background and uses our background Stratagem scanning to regular evaluate how hot files are based on recent access.

Snapshot: A huge one, and a feature that many customers have requested over the years. Our snapshot code is available as supplementary RPMs which are qualified on top of EXA 5.2. Separating the RPMs out allows us to provide targeted support to early users and this code will be integrated into the main EXAScaler in the forthcoming release. Snapshot is implemented in ldiskfs and is a straightforward upgrade from older EXAScaler versions. It is whole filesystem wide and we will soon allow users to perform self service into those snapshots.

GPUDirect: We implemented this early in the year. It is qualified with NVIDIA DGX systems, moving data directly to the GPUs bypassing the host CPU in the DGX systems. While not yet GA from NVIDIA, DDN is ready for the release as soon as it comes and can work with Beta customers now. Find out more from NVIDIA in this GPUDirect Blog.

Simpler MultiRail Management: The advent of GPU servers with many GPUs and many network interfaces, combined with DDN storage appliances that also present many network interfaces means that delivering a single high performance mountpoint across the network needed to utilize all those paths from storage to application. In 2020 we’ve made this process much simpler and more stable, adding both performance and resilience to systems with more than one network interface.

Stratagem Sync: In 5.2 we began to include a native toolset to perform movements of data from EXAScaler to other storage systems; S3 or POSIX filesystems. The tools just take a directory structure and maintain an asyncronous replica elsewhere. Lots of possibilities around future expansion to these tools. We also have a very comprehensive product called DataFlow that is now deeply integrated with EXAScaler to support syncronization, backup and archive.

And there’s more. We’re always interested in hearing any comments on your use cases and the challenges you have around any of these topics. Feel free to drop us a line and we’ll help you build the most efficient, reliable, and high-performing solution for your specific needs.

  • Dr. James Coomer
  • Dr. James Coomer
  • Sr. Vice President of Products
  • Date: December 3, 2020

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