UC San Diego researchers lead by Arun Jagatheesan and Mike Norman along with BiologicalNetworks team members Maya Sedova, Amarnath Gupta and Michael Baitaluk won the Storage Challenge competition, the leading international conference on high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis being held in this week in Portland, Oregon. Large (750 GB) RAMFS (random-access memory file system) with 1 TB (terabyte) of flash SSD file system was used to dramatically accelerate BiologicalNetworks integrated database and specifically designed graph query engine.
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The research team based its Storage Challenge submission for the annual conference on the architecture of SDSC's recently announced Dash high-performance compute system, a "super-sized" version of flash memory-based devices such as laptops, digital cameras and thumb drives that also employs vSMP Foundation software from ScaleMP, Inc. to provide virtual symmetric multiprocessing capabilities.
Dash is the prototype for a much larger flash-memory HPC system called Gordon, which is scheduled to go online in mid-2011 after SDSC was awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) this summer to build and operate the powerful system. Both Dash and Gordon are designed to accelerate investigation of a wide range of data-intensive science problems by providing cost-effective data performance more than 10 times faster than most other HPC systems in use today.
"A major challenge for the scientific user community is to deal with storage latency issues in our systems," said SDSC Interim Director Mike Norman, "Even though not all scientific problems are data-intensive, many of them are, and this challenge illustrated that we can overcome latency issues with innovative approaches and partnerships.
As an organized research unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is a national leader in creating and providing cyberinfrastructure for data-intensive research. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible and integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC last year doubled its size to 160,000 square feet with a new, energy-efficient building and data center extension, and is a founding member of TeraGrid, the nation's largest open-access scientific discovery infrastructure.