Innovation through Collaboration: Lustre User Group 2013

At Cray, we are proud of our supercomputing history. We are also proud of our heritage and leadership position within the Lustre® file system community, having delivered some of the world’s largest and fastest production Lustre file systems.

Lustre has evolved and matured into the pre-eminent, open parallel file system for HPC and big data storage. Our open storage system strategy builds on the Linux® operating system (across numerous distributions), and combines interoperability, platform choice, and the Lustre file system.

Why Lustre?  Simply put: performance, scalability, and innovation through open collaboration.

The Lustre file system powers around 2/3rds of the top 100 HPC sites.  At Cray, we have a broad number of Lustre deployments including our Cray Lustre file system optimized for NetApp and DDN storage, and Lustre is also fully embedded in our Cray Sonexion™ storage system – our scale-out Lustre system for HPC and big data.  You can read more about Cray’s Lustre expertise for Big Data and HPC in this solution brief.

There has been some mention of Lustre achieving 1TB/s to a single file system.  Through the evolution and maturity of Lustre, and support from partner companies, we have worked hard to  deploy and achieve sustained aggregate throughput of 1TB/s to a single (23 petabyte) file system for the NCSA Blue Waters project.   Everyone at Cray is extremely proud of this accomplishment, and honored to provide Blue Waters users with application-centric computing and storage built on Lustre.

According to project leader Bill Kramer, in our case study on Blue Waters, Enabling Scientific Breakthroughs at the Petascale, Cray’s implementation of Lustre provides high levels of scalability, reliability and stability for continuous operations in an open-source, non-proprietary environment. “I’m not sure we could scale any other file system at this point, and even if it could be done with another approach it is even more unlikely we could have done it for the same cost profile,” Kramer said.

The open source community struggled early on to solidify Lustre, but the quality and maturity of the Lustre implementations and source code base has vastly improved and stabilized over the past few years to enable petascale deployments like Blue Waters.  Major companies, including Cray, have invested heavily in development to enable the use of Lustre, formed close partnerships, and validated Lustre as a reliable and stable platform for major production application workloads, within the national labs and out across commercial industries.

This has been achieved through a collaborative consortium called Open Scalable File Systems (OpenSFS).  Cray, DDN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory founded OpenSFS in 2010. The founding members have since been joined by Xyratex Corp. and Intel, Inc. at the Board Level, plus the Board is completed by a Community Representative Director, a position elected yearly. The CRD for the 2013 term is from the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

One of the great events that bring these partner organizations together is the Lustre User Group (LUG).  This year, LUG is  being held in San Diego, and it’s sure to be filled with good technical papers and informative presentations.  Check out the OpenSFS LUG 2013 website for more information.


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