Feeds

NEC flies into synchrotron sun

Work de SOLEIL

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

NEC Deutschland has supplied a 1.3PB storage system to the French SOLEIL synchrotron facility, using Promise VTrak storage systems, to store massive amounts of data created by computer simulations and experiments.

SOLEIL, an acronym for “Optimized Source of LURE Intermediary Energy Light,” is a research centre located near Paris. It runs an electron accelerator which produces exceptionally bright light across a wide range of wavelengths, from infra-red to x-ray, and including ultra-violet. The light characteristics, such as intensity, focus, stability, and polarisation, make it possible to observe both living and inert matter down to the atomic level.

It allows experiments to be carried out in areas such as biology, physics, the environment, materials science, and archaeology, both in fundamental research and applied or industrially-relevant research.

SOLEIL has an NEC supercomputer using Xeon 7300 and 7400 processors. It is developing a new 64-core one based on Xeon 7500 processors wrapped inside an Intel white box, not an NEC one.

The new storage system is called a Petascale Storage Solution and is a bit of a mystery. We're told it comes as three 48U racks with 640 disk drives, including a front-end NEC HPC 2424Rb-4 server. There is nothing on NEC's website pages about this server and a web search on its name comes up with zilch. NEC does have a server range, but there's nothing in that line of products with a name resembling this.

The system uses NEC VTrak E-Class storage systems. These turn out to be Promise VTrak E-Class storage products, and are enclosures containing both SAS and SATA drives with dual active-active RAID controllers and redundant, hot-swap power supplies and cooling.

We don't know the capacities of the SATA and SAS drives used, the total SAS and SATA capacity in the system or the number of E-Class enclosures. NEC says the design is cableless but we assume that servers using this storage system link to it using some form of cabling.

NEC's parallel file system product, LXFS, is not used at SOLEIL. Instead a clustered file system is used from Active Circle and is, NEC says: "adapted to the management of large volumes of data, natively protecting against errors, corruption and disasters and allowing for the implementation of a multi-tiered storage architecture."

It has integrated security and tiered storage management and "is being installed on all storage nodes". The Promise E-Class systems are not presented by Promise as cluster nodes, which means there is some form of clustering going on here with the VTraks formed into storage nodes.

We understand NEC and Promise have a close partnership but not an OEM relationship.

We did ask NEC about the missing pieces of information but it wasn't immediately able to respond. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.