[Beowulf] Suggestions to what DFS to use

John Hanks griznog at gmail.com
Tue Feb 14 22:33:01 PST 2017

So "clusters" is a strong word, we have a collection of ~22,000 cores of
assorted systems, basically if someone leaves a laptop laying around
unprotected we might try to run a job on it. And being bioinformatic-y, our
problem with this and all storage is metadata related. The original
procurement did not include dedicated NSD servers (or extra GPFS server
licenses) so we run solely off the SFA12K's.

Could we improve with dedicated NSD frontends and GPFS clients? Yes, most
certainly. But again, we can stand up a PB or more of brand new SuperMicro
storage fronted by BeeGFS  that performs as well or better for around the
same cost, if not less. I don't have enough of an emotional investment in
GPFS or DDN to convince myself that suggesting further tuning that requires
money and time is worthwhile for our environment. It more or less serves
the purpose it was bought for, we learn from the experience and move on
down the road.


On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 9:12 AM Christopher Samuel <samuel at unimelb.edu.au>

> On 15/02/17 17:03, John Hanks wrote:
> > When we were looking at a possible GPFS client license purchase we ran
> > the client on our nodes and did some basic testing. The client did give
> > us a bit of a boost in performance over NFS, but still we could tip GPFS
> > over with a small fraction of our available nodes.
> Wow that's odd, how large are your clusters?
> We were hitting ours with 2 Intel clusters (1,000+ cores each) and 4
> racks of BlueGene/Q (65,5535 cores, 4096 nodes).
> However, we do have our GPFS metadata on an SSD array connected to 2
> dedicated NSD servers (active/active) and our SFA10K's are frontended by
> 4 NSD servers each (again active/active pairs to give redundancy).
> cheers,
> Chris
> --
>  Christopher Samuel        Senior Systems Administrator
>  VLSCI - Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative
>  Email: samuel at unimelb.edu.au Phone: +61 (0)3 903 55545
>  http://www.vlsci.org.au/      http://twitter.com/vlsci
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