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Swedish centre improves HPC storage facilities

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Sweden's Uppsala Multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Computational Science (UPPMAX) has increased the performance, scalability and manageability of its HPC service and next-generation sequencing archive with the deployment of Panasas ActiveStor storage. In addition to providing additional storage capacity for the university and its users, the solution significantly reduces system administration time and increases the performance of Uppsala's data-intensive scientific software applications.

Serving a wide range of academic users with diverse application workloads requires a delicate balance of compute, network and storage resources. With the upcoming integration of a new HPC cluster, the UPPMAX team needed to acquire a high-bandwidth storage solution capable of serving many concurrent clients with data.  'We quickly realised that we needed storage with much higher performance. Our traditional NFS servers could not handle the load of our new clusters,' said Jukka Komminaho, group leader of system experts, UPPMAX. 'We required a mix of high-bandwidth access to our clusters and low-latency access to our home directories. Panasas is easily meeting our performance requirements serving applications such as VASP, Gaussian and BLAST as well as our users' home-grown applications.'

In addition to providing high-performance for the UPPMAX compute clusters, Panasas storage is utilised for storing project data produced by next-generation sequencing machines. With new data being produced at an estimated rate of 1 terabyte (TB) per day, the data storage management and scalability challenges are significant. 'We’re standardising on Panasas storage in our next-generation sequencing archive today, and are planning to double the capacity in early 2010,' said Jonas Hagberg, storage expert, UPPMAX.  'The ease of scalability of our Panasas solution is very important, as is the ability to integrate Panasas seamlessly with Tivoli Storage Manager which is our existing back-up solution.'