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Photo story: Durham adds server power & expands storage to 1PB

Storage will support research including two significant projects into galaxy formation and the fate of gas outside of galaxies

Our work at Durham University continues. The world-leading Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) has upgraded its server and storage cluster, COSMA4. The new cluster, now with 1.1 PetaByte of storage and 2992 cores, will support essential new research including two significant projects into galaxy formation and the fate of gas outside of galaxies.

Originally launched in February 2011, the IT team within the ICC has expanded the storage capacity of COSMA4 from 612 TeraBytes (TB), which was already half full from current research projects, to 1.1 PetaBytes (PB). The new storage capacity is necessary because collectively, both new research projects will require 150-200 TBs of storage capacity. The new storage capacity will also support other, on-going research projects.

– The enhanced storage cluster will enable up to 50 researchers, working collaboratively, to access and review data simultaneously.
– Researchers will also be able to access data up to seven years old.
– Operating through a single management system, the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS)™, the IT team at Durham can manage data effectively – making data available, moving some old data to tape archive or even deleting data if un required. IBM GPFS is a high-performance, extremely scalable clustered file system.

The server and storage cluster upgrade includes IBM System x iDataPlex® dx360 M3 server with 48 Intel X5650 6C processors and one IBM System Storage® DCS3700 with 180 2TB disks. This is one of the first deployments of IBM DCS3700 storage technology in the world. Additional capacity was also added to two existing IBM System Storage DS3512 storage arrays on site with 10 additional Expansion Arrays containing 120 2TB SATA HDDs.

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