Cambridge Installs Panasus Parallel Storage System for Research Support

The University of Cambridge's High Performance Computing Service (HPCS) has deployed a Panasas parallel storage system to support work being done by university researchers. Cambridge has deployed the Panasas ActiveStore AS5000 solution with the PanFS parallel file system.

The HPCS provides all departments across the school--including bioinformatics, computational fluid dynamics and computational physics and mathematics--with centralized, high-performance computing research services. Success of the service is measured in terms of system utilization and job throughput.

"It is critical that our centralized service provides the ideal platform for software applications with different compute, memory and storage requirements," said Paul Calleja, director of HPCS. "The Panasas PanFS parallel file system significantly boosts the performance of applications that take advantage of parallel I/O. Each node on our cluster runs the Panasas DirectFlow client software and has a physical data path to the storage, giving us the flexibility to employ parallel I/O across all nodes for single jobs or many individual jobs performing I/O simultaneously. Our users are enjoying an increased job throughput following the deployment of the Panasas solution... The reliability of the Panasas solution benefits users with increased uptime, and its manageability has allowed us to reduce our administrative overhead."

The Linux-based ActiveStor 5000 Parallel Storage Cluster includes up to 200 TB per rack system using 2 TB StorageBlade modules. The PanFS file system virtualizes data across all storage blades and presents a single unified namespace.

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Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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