Sunday28 February 2021

Parallel File System Storage


NOVATTE Lustre Appliance (NLA) - capacity oriented storage - is an ideal lower cost alternative to Performance oriented storage (Panasas ActiveStor 14). Utilizing unified InfiniBand interconnect infrastructure, NOVATTE Lustre Appliance delivers high performance file system for NOVATTE CPU Clusters and GPU Clusters ranging in size from small to large-scale, multi-site clusters.


Panasas ActiveStore 14 - performance oriented storage - is the fastest parallel file system storage in the world. Utilizing NOVATTE unified InfiniBand interconnect infrastructure for HPC Clusters, ActiveStore 14 adds natively as the plug-and-play appliance to CPU Clusters of GPU Clusters in-a-box.

1.0 NOVATTE Lustre Appliance (NLA)

NOVATTE Lustre Appliance utilizes the same parallel distributed file system as used in fifteen out of top 30 supercomputers, including the world’s fastest TOP500 supercomputer Sequoia (on November 2012). As ActiveStore 14, NLA allows HPC Cluster nodes to directly access a single scalable file system in parallel.  


The major difference between ActiveStore 14 and NLA is in the architecture: while ActiveStore 14 utilizes proprietary blade architecture design to facilitate performance and reliability through drives independence, NLA utilizes storage blocks architecture to bring the storage system cost down while maintain reliability on the storage blocks level. 


 Hardware Architecture


NOVATTE Lustre Appliance consists of Metadata servers (MDS) and Object storage server blocks (OSSes) that can be easily expanded within multiple racks  to support virtually any capacity for Lustre Parallel File System.


NOVATTE storage block (NSB)
Storage blocks are the body of Lustre storage system. NSBs store applications and file data as objects for optimal performance and reliability. Every NSB contains 24 x SAS HDD drives to enhance performance and storage capacity of the system. Unified architecture allows to linearly scale performance as the size of your storage grows.


NOVATTE Metadata servers (MDS)
Metadata servers are a heart of a Lustre system. They store namespace metadata of Lustre file system such as filenames, directories, access permissions, and file layout. NOVATTE metadata servers are built using enterprise-class SSD drives to facilitate the performance of MDS. Unlike block-based distributed file systems, such as ActiveStore 12 PanFS, where the metadata server controls all of the block allocation, the NOVATTE Lustre metadata server is only involved in pathname and permission checks, and is not involved in any file I/O operations, avoiding I/O scalability bottlenecks on the metadata server and increasing overall performance of the storage system.





2.0 Panasas ActiveStore 14


NOVATTE and Panasas delivers unmatched parallel file system performance in addition to the scalability, manageability, reliability, and value required by demanding technical computing organizations in the energy, government, finance, manufacturing, bioscience, and other research sectors.




Hardware Architecture


ActiveStor appliances eliminate the bottlenecks found in traditional NAS systems, accelerating application I/O performance by enabling HPC cluster nodes to directly access a single, scalable file system in parallel. Simply add individual blade chassis or entire racks to non-disruptively scale the capacity and performance of the file system as storage requirements grow. This makes it easy to linearly scale capacity to six petabytes and performance to a staggering 150GB/s, the industry’s highest single file system throughput per terabyte of SATA storage. Even an initial 81 to 83TB deployment consisting of a single chassis of ActiveStor 14 delivers a whopping 1.5GB/s of parallel performance.


Panasas ActiveStor is based on a revolutionary storage blade architecture designed to deliver the best possible capabilities from the Panasas PanFS storage operating system. By taking a scalable, modular appliance approach, ActiveStor systems facilitate ease of management and maintenance while delivering high performance, reliability, and availability.



Every ActiveStor deployment consists of one or more fully self-contained storage blade chassis that can be easily expanded within a rack or multiple racks to support virtually any capacity and performance requirement. Each chassis contains one or more director blades which orchestrate file system activity and multiple storage blades that store and transact all file system data and metadata, handling over 90% of file system activity.  





The ActiveStor blade chassis provides an enterprise-class foundation optimized for simple scalability and reliability. Up to eleven storage and director blades can be mixed and matched within a single chassis.

Storage Blade

ActiveStor storage blades are the hardware foundation of the system. Storage blades contain all application and user data, storing files as objects for optimal performance and reliability. Every storage blade enhances both the capacity and performance of the system, allowing ActiveStor to linearly scale performance and capacity as the size of the deployment increases.

panasas storageblade

Director Blade

ActiveStor director blades orchestrate file system activity outside of the data path, allowing reads/writes to occur in parallel directly between compute clients and Panasas storage blades. This design not only speeds data transfers but also facilitates much better scalability. In addition, director blades virtualize data objects across all available storage blades, enabling the system to be viewed as a single, easily managed namespace. Director blades automatically cluster together for high availability, and the ratio of storage to director blades can be configured to meet the demands of each specific application environment.

panasas directorblade


Technical Specification


Storage Model NOVATTE NLA ActiveStor 14
Capacity (TB) 63 81 or 83
Hard Drives (3.5”) 21 (SAS) 20 (SATA)
Max. Throughput, Write 1050MB/s 1600MB/s
Max. Throughput, Read 1200MB/s 1500MB/s
Network Failover No Standard
High Availability Link Aggregation No Yes
56Gbps FDR InfiniBand Native Through router
Power Supply 1,200W 1+1 Redundant  1,050W 1+1 redundant 
Dimensions (HxWxD)  4U: 17.8 cm x 43.7 cm x 66 cm 4U: 17.8 cm x 48.26 cm x 66.04 cm
Management GUI Interface No Yes


JA Minisite

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