Blog Feed Post

Lessons Learned at SC14

(article written for the Scality blog)

Attending a Super Computing Conference is always a humbling experience. It’s the event where you meet scientists that are helping to solve the hardest problems in the world, such as the discovery of new drugs, genomics research to better discover and treat diseases, finding new energy sources or the precise prediction of the next superstorm. The SC Conference is the place where innovations that are making these life-changing discoveries possible are shared.

What started as an informal get-together of a couple hundred computer scientists 25 years ago has become a major tradeshow, attended by thousands of researchers and technologists. This is not an audience of trade show tire-kickers but one of supercomputing specialists who continuously push technology to its limits to solve some of the greatest scientific challenges.

SC14 was Scality’s second participation in the show. Last year’s event led – amongst others – to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) selecting the Scality RING as an active archive for complex simulations used to monitor the health of the US nuclear stockpile.

Lesson 1: a half-exabyte customer reference in this industry gets your technology to go viral quickly.

The two key use cases Scality supports for the supercomputing industry are Active Archives and Distributed Computing. Scality RING for Active Archives enables HPC customers to offload data off their expensive Tier 1 storage to free cycles for other high-performance workloads. The Distributed Computing use case focuses on the RING’s ability to run highly parallel and independent computing jobs.

Both use cases are very distinct, each with specific characteristics, but at the same time, they go very closely together: LANL is using the Scality RING both as scale-out archive storage and high-performance storage for simulations.

Lesson 2: the HPC industry is very actively investigating how they can lower costs by running compute jobs on industry-standard servers.

Challenged by Amdahl’s law, HPC storage architects are working hard to shift to more parallel and distributed architectures in diverse areas such as genomics simulations, biology research and electronic design problems. In many areas of research, the quantity of data being manipulated is growing exponentially. This is certainly true of numerical simulations that typically store short term results on very high performance “scratch” file-systems before storing the data more permanently on researchers “home” directories or on tape. It’s also true in all fields using increasingly accurate physical sensors to acquire data, such as oil and gas seismic surveys, radar and satellite imaging and electron microscopy.

Interest is growing in archiving these massive amounts of data. Having it readily accessible for further study increases its value and furthers the objectives of the research being performed.

A key benefit of the Scality RING is the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing high-performance storage systems. Scality is the only software-defined storage platform that supports mixed environments of GPFS, Lustre and object storage, with native support for NFS and SMB file access. HPC customers are leveraging Scality’s open source block driver to build data movers for their GPFS infrastructures and several technology partners are integrating their Lustre systems with the RING, using the Lustre HSM functionality.

Lesson 3: the RING is a perfect solution for “home” storage, but also supports some Scratch storage requirements. Think of Home Storage with Scratch performance capabilities

The Scality RING offers unique flexibility in this industry. Using industry-standard servers, customers can build Exabyte-scale storage systems that can be used for active archives, home storage and to some extent, scratch. Thanks to some highly visible customer successes in the HPC industry, the result is that Scality has very quickly become the hottest storage technology in this market. One visitor, who had been doing his homework before visiting us at the show described us as “Scality? Well that’s like Ceph that works, right?”

It’s a good start – we can live with that.


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Tom Leyden

Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality. Scality was founded in 2009 by a team of entrepreneurs and technologists. The idea wasn’t storage, per se. When the Scality team talked to the initial base of potential customers, the customers wanted a system that could “route” data to and from individual users in the most scalable, efficient way possible. And so began a non-traditional approach to building a storage system that no one had imagined before. No one thought an object store could have enough performance for all the files and attachments of millions of users. No one thought a system could remain up and running through software upgrades, hardware failures, capacity expansions, and even multiple hardware generations coexisting. And no one believed you could do all this and scale to petabytes of content and billions of objects in pure software.

Latest Stories
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and the...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.