IBM presses the envelope of data sharing speed with supercomputer

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A recent project using an IBM super computer broke new ground in the potential for sharing huge amounts of data at almost (literally) lightning speed via massive computer networks. The results were achieved on the ASC Purple supercomputer, the third most-powerful supercomputer in the world. The computer is located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and is a National Nuclear Security Administration computing system designed by IBM, the company said.
   
The project was developed in order demonstrate the potential of data sharing applications and to drive the creation of new software for industries as diverse as healthcare, gaming, entertainment, security and business.

Through the test, IBM and LLNL demonstrated how more than 102 gigabytes (GB) per second of information can be sent for sustained read and write performance to a single file using specialized software that manages the transfer of information between thousands of processors and thousands of disk storage devices. The world record performance was achieved using 416 individual storage controllers combined with 104 Power-based eServer p575 nodes.

The resulting file system was 1.6 petabytes in size. This makes for one of the largest high performance file systems in the world currently. The system also is highly scalable, as the performance was maintained as over 1,000 clients drove workloads to the file system.