HPC bod SGI racks UV brains, reaches 30 MEEELLION IOPS

UK 300 concept gets SSD supercharge

USGI UV 2000

How does 30 million IOPS from a 32-socket server grab you?

We've learnt SGI has taken its UV 300H server, used in its "UV for SAP HANA" product, and boosted its performance with 64 Intel DC P3700 SSDs, which use the NVMe interface.

The team working on this includes SGI's acquired Starboard Storage engineers. Starboard was developing unified file/block hybrid storage systems before it crashed and was scooped up by the HPC firm.

There is also a new UV 30 system. SGI now has four "UltraViolet" scale-up UV server products:

  1. UV 2000 - an up to 256-socket, 2,048 core system with cache-coherent, global shared memory in a single system image. It uses the NUMAlink interconnect.
  2. UV 300 - based on the UV 300H as used in SGI's UV for SAP HANA product. It is a single node system based on Xeon E7 8890 v2 15-core processors, scalable to 32 sockets (480 core) and 24TB of coherent shared memory using 32GB DIMMs.
  3. UV 30EX - a four-socket server providing up to 3TB of in-memory computing power. Upgradable to the UV300.
  4. UV 20 - a four-socket, 48-core server using Intel's QuickPath interconnect.
USGI UV 2000

SGI UV 2000

The UV 30EX and 300 systems are designed for complex data analytics, visualisation and real-time streaming. The UV 30 might replace the existing UV 20 system.

The developed UV 300 runs a single SUSE or Red Hat Linux instance and has the ability to add Xeon Phi co-processors or NVIDIA GPU accelerators. It uses seventh generation NUMAlink ASIC technology to interconnect the memory components.

We're told it can achieve close to 30 million IOPS (4K random reads) and 200GB/sec bandwidth (128K random reads). We're told there is a bit of trickery involving NUMA optimisations. Under the hood, this boosts performance from a 20 million IOPS/150GB/sec base level.

One strand of thinking amongst the engineers working on this is, we understand, to have a backing store, perhaps using shingled disk drives in JBODs, pushing out 15-20GB/sec of linear access across the JBODs, thus providing a hybrid flash/disk system with the usual near-flash speed at near disk-prices advantage. Such a hybrid system could be relatively easy to deploy as there are no switches, arrays or HBAs – except for the backing store (tier 2).

Here again we see high-performance computing style technology favourably positioned for enterprise big data-mining and analysis work. The ability to chew through vast data-sets in real time would enhance the productivity of data scientists and enable real-time analytics.

Our guess is that if SGI delivers such an enhanced UV 300 product, it will cost significantly more than $100,000. You should be able to see this UV 300 concept at the super computing show - SC14 - in New Orleans this week.

The UV 300 and UV 30EX are available for order and begin shipping before the end of the year. ®

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