The Titan supercomputer over at Oak Ridge National Laboratory 18,688 AMD Opteron 6274 16-core CPUs, and 18,688 NVIDIA Tesla K20X graphics cards. It has 710TB of memory, with 598TB dedicated to the CPUs and 112TB to the GPUs. Those specs make it the world’s most powerful supercomputer, but did you know it that this 299,008-core computer also is the world’s fastest storage system?
The officials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have decided to beef up the storage system on Titan and have selected the Spider II data storage and retrieval system from DataDirect Networks (DDN) to replace the existing system on the Titan supercomputer. At the heart of Spider II are 36 SFA12K-40 hardware devices—each capable of handling 1.12 petabytes of data. Together they will allow Titan to move 40 petabytes of data at 1.4TB/s. According to ORNL, that’s equivalent to the amount of information in books stacked high enough to reach the moon. The system will have 20,000 disk drives to hold all that information and will use Lustre, the open source file-system software. In contrast, the current system is able to manage 10 petabytes of storage, running at 240GB/sec! Talk about an upgrade! The bill for this machine is closing in on $100 million and it takes up 404 square meters of floor space, and consumes 8.2 MW of electricity.