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Cray Sonexion Technology

Brought to you by Cray, the world’s leading experts in large-scale parallel storage solutions for HPC and technical computing, Cray Sonexion provides a fully integrated, scale-out Lustre storage system for industry-standard Linux compute clusters. Sonexion’s modular and compact form factor provides precision performance and capacity scalability to reduce capital costs. Performance scales in modular building blocks, reducing the number of hard drives needed to achieve sustained performance at scale. Moreover, Sonexion scales in predictable, performance-optimized Cray Sonexion 1300configurations, ensuring precise levels of performance and stability as capacity expands.

Sonexion's compact form factor reduces the total storage hardware infrastructure (cables, servers, components and racks) required for sustaining production-grade, petascale deployments — in some cases up to 300 percent over onsite-designed Lustre configurations.

Precision Performance — Modular Scalability
The Cray Sonexion scale-out system maximizes the performance and capacity scaling capabilities of the Lustre file system. This integrated and modular storage solution is composed of high performance Scalable Storage Units (SSU), a Metadata Management Unit (MMU) and a network-ready rack that includes all storage and processing needs for a complete, production-grade parallel storage system.

Each SSU is physically capable of delivering 6GB/s of peak bandwidth. Using the IOR benchmark, Cray’s performance team has benchmarked real-world, sustained file system performance of each SSU to be greater than 5GB/s per SSU and up to 1TB/s sustained performance to a single file system.

Compact Design for Density at Scale
Every Cray Sonexion rack comes pre-assembled, integrated, configured and tested. More data and performance can be stored in modular building blocks. For large-scale systems, Sonexion’s compact design ensures greater efficiency and higher utilization within an individual rack — and across the datacenter. This power efficiency and extreme density for Lustre reduce the cost of operating petascale storage systems. In large petascale systems, the datacenter footprint — counted in number of racks for a given performance and capacity level — can be reduced up to one-third the total amount of hardware required to store multi-petabyte systems.

Easier to Deploy and Manage at Scale
Because Sonexion comes pre-integrated, pre-tested and pre-configured, deployment time is greatly reduced. All components — networking, storage, RAID, operating system and Lustre — come pre-configured and pre-cabled. There are no external servers, switches or ad hoc systems to manage. Simply add storage building blocks — SSUs, expansion modules and racks — to achieve prescribed performance and capacity objectives. Cray’s expertise integrating and configuring Lustre is embedded in the design — enabling customers to focus on research instead of Lustre.

Quality: Reliability, Availability, Serviceability and Stability
Cray’s expertise in designing, deploying, optimizing and supporting large-scale parallel storage systems has enabled Cray to deliver a highly reliable, available and stable clustered storage system. The modular and redundant architecture of Cray Sonexion systems provides the highest reliability and resiliency to Lustre storage solutions for HPC and technical computing. In addition, each component, module and subsystem undergoes exhaustive factory testing under the most demanding test conditions to ensure maximum system robustness. Cray’s quality assurance team simulates real-world, thermal and failure stress testing matching worst-case, production operations scenarios.

The MMU module hosts the metadata and management server operations. SSU modules operate as active/active-integrated server modules with redundant and independent system interconnections, providing maximum reliability while delivering maximum performance. The CSSM is tightly integrated into the system stack — from storage and embedded server modules to the Lustre file system and the entire storage cluster — enabling rapid, accurate monitoring and diagnosis down to the component level. System-wide software and firmware upgrades are executed through a simple and single interface in the CSSM system, removing the complexity and risks of traditional large Lustre implementations.