DataDirect Networks Collaborates with Intel to Take Massive Step Forward in Lustre Solution Leadership

Debut of Next Generation EXAScaler Lustre Appliance Delivers the World’s Highest Density, Highest Sustained Metadata Performance and Fastest Lustre Client and OSS Nodes in the Industry

SC14 (Booth #2539), NEW ORLEANS — November 18, 2014

News Facts


  • Delivering best-in-class performance and density, DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced the latest generation of EXAScaler, the company’s high performance Lustre appliance, with full support from DDN and Intel.
  • In a single 45 unit rack, the new EXAScaler today delivers over 4.8 PB of usable storage using 6TB disk drives, 100MB/sec sustained scalable per-drive performance, up to 40GB/sec sustained throughput and up to 1.5 million IOPS.
  • The latest version of the EXAScaler appliance offers the world’s highest sustained Lustre metadata performance, capable of exceeding 100,000 file creates per second, even when creating millions of files under intensive load.
  • To meet the large-scale storage and analytics needs of Enterprise and HPC environments today, users require the mixed I/O performance and concurrent client access of a parallel file system in combination with high performance storage, backed by 24×7 enterprise-grade support.
  • The ability to scale to tens of thousands of clients and petabytes of storage with DDN’s highly optimized Lustre v2.5 client and support for dual-rail infiniband makes the EXAScaler appliance, in particular, attractive to both academic and scientific research organizations, as well as enterprises that are scaling at HPC levels such as those in oil and gas, financial services and manufacturing industries.
  • DDN’s Lustre expertise and decade-long support for the world’s largest file storage systems, coupled with the company’s long-standing relationship with Intel, makes DDN the de-facto standard for Lustre-based environments.
  • Powered by Intel® Enterprise Edition for Lustre* software (Intel® EE for Lustre software), DDN EXAScaler integrates file system and storage media into one extremely high performance file storage appliance to provide massive throughput and highly parallel access that traditional enterprise SAN and NAS storage technologies lack today. Designed specifically for businesses with large scale, high-bandwidth storage needs, the EXAScaler appliance allows users to tap into the power and scalability of Lustre, but with simplified installation, configuration and monitoring features to slash Lustre deployment time from weeks to hours – even for Petascale systems.
  • Built on DDN’s unique Storage Fusion Architecture (SFA), EXAScaler includes a number of enhancements to help customers simplify the deployment of high performance, high availability configurations including improved drive rebuild times, self-encrypting drive (SED) support, online drive firmware features, and enhanced remote diagnostics tools that provide world-class reliability, availability and serviceability.
  • Seamless integration and interoperability with DDN’s flagship SFA12KX and SFA7700X high-performance storage solutions, makes EXAScaler the optimal solution for customers looking for the HPC performance of parallel file systems without the management overhead and complexity of building their own. The EXAScaler appliance is easily managed with the DirectMon Management GUI that offers centralized configuration, monitoring and management functionality across the entire DDN product portfolio.

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New EXAScaler Appliance Powered by Intel Offers Unprecedented Performance and Reliability, Integration of Lustre with Apache Hadoop, and 24×7 Support from DDN

  • The latest version of EXAScaler integrates DDN high-performance SFA storage appliances with a new custom-optimized version of the Lustre file system, based on the Intel EE for Lustre software, and incorporating new enhancements to Lustre stability, reliability, and performance.
  • The EXAScaler appliance provides large-scale MPI users with significant performance enhancements including fully parallel I/O throughput across thousands of clients, servers, and storage devices. Additionally, EXAScaler significantly improves single client throughput as well as metadata and small file I/O performance, to accelerate time-to-insight in data analytics environments, such as life sciences, energy exploration and image analysis.
  • Offering full integration with industry leading distributions of Hadoop software from Apache Software Foundation and Cloudera, DDN’s EXAScaler uses a unique adapter which allows users to run MapReduce applications directly on top of Lustre software. This allows the EXAScaler appliance to accelerate the rate which data can be accessed and analyzed, optimizing the performance of MapReduce operations and delivering faster, more scalable, and easier-to-manage storage.
  • Rigorous testing by the open source Lustre community and by DDN’s EXAScaler product development teams also provides customers the confidence of a stable software platform that has been proven across diverse industries.

Optimized to Accelerate File Systems, Delivering Massive Performance at Low TCO

  • With the new EXAScaler appliance, customers can choose between turnkey or customized storage solutions that meet the needs for radically simplified Lustre file system management and performance acceleration within enterprise Big Data environments.
  • While parallel file systems are a natural fit for streaming and large file access, typically they prove less effective with small file performance. To address this gap, DDN combines EXAScaler with Storage Fusion Xcelerator™ (SFX) flash caching technology to dramatically improve small IO read operations from large data files, as well as small file read throughput.

Availability and Specification Details

  • The latest version of DDN EXAScaler is available now, offered with customizable optimization capabilities to ensure the highest capacity storage in a rack coupled with the best small IO, mixed IO and throughput available for a Lustre-based appliance. Additionally, customers can select from new pre-installed, rack-optimized configurations optimized for performance or capacity.

Supporting Quotes

Michael Vildibill, Vice President Product Management, DDN

  • “The performance demands of today’s data-intensive applications require a new approach to HPC storage that balances the storage and data throughput challenges with the ability to accelerate value from customers’ workflows. DDN’s EXAScaler appliance powered by the pairing of DDN performance and solution experience with Intel IEEL is a next generation storage system that fills this gap. A massively scalable, efficient appliance designed for the HPC and Big Data markets, EXAScaler delivers extreme file system performance to help simplify and reduce the cost of building petascale computing solutions for data hungry applications across sectors including scientific research, trading simulation, climate modeling and energy exploration.”

Brent Gorda, General Manager, High Performance Data Division, Intel

  • “Working with DDN, we have architected an innovative solution that overcomes many of the data-intensive challenges facing customers in both HPC and Big Data. Coupling DDN’s leading hardware with our  version of the Intel EE for Lustre software will provide customers with an elegant, efficient and powerful solution to solve many of data storage and movement challenges.”

Supporting Resources

About DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the world leader in massively scalable storage. Our data storage and processing solutions and professional services enable content-rich and high growth IT environments to achieve the highest levels of systems scalability, efficiency and simplicity. DDN enables enterprises to extract value and deliver business results from their information. Our customers include the world’s leading online content and social networking providers, high performance cloud and grid computing, life sciences, media production, and security and intelligence organizations. Deployed in thousands of mission critical environments worldwide, DDN’s solutions have been designed, engineered and proven in the world’s most scalable data centers to ensure competitive business advantage for today’s information powered enterprise. For more information, go to or call 1-800-837-2298.


©2014 All rights reserved. DataDirect Networks, Inc., DDN, Storage Fusion Architecture, Storage Fusion Xcelerator and EXAScaler, are trademarks owned by DataDirect Networks. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries. *All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.