LSI reseller partner International Computer Concepts built the system for NCSA around the LSI MegaRAID® SAS 9260-8i low-profile MD2 eight-port controller and innovative LSI CacheCade software for I/O performance acceleration. The system is designed to deliver the performance, throughput and scalability required to store and process approximately 200TB of raw image data in a database that is expected to grow by 400GB daily over the one and a half year life of the project.
“When you consider that the Dark Energy Survey will examine more than 300 million galaxies and a 5,000 square degree surface area, it’s no surprise that this will be one of the most rigorous data projects ever undertaken by NCSA,” said Bernie Acs, informatics system designer and database architect at NCSA. “We may never know the exact size of the universe or why it appears to be expanding at an increasing rate, but thanks in part to the 9260-8i card and the CacheCade software from LSI, we have the tools to get us closer to the answer very soon."
LSI CacheCade software enables solid-state drives (SSDs) to act as a secondary tier of high-performance controller cache in front of hard drives, accelerating application and workload performance. The technology has helped to accelerate the performance of NCSA's hard disk drive (HDD) arrays by enabling three 160GB SSDs to be configured as an additional high-performance read cache resource available to the controller. The solution has enabled NCSA to reduce the time required to create database indices from four and six hours to only 15 minutes, an approximately 20x performance improvement. NCSA expects the performance benefits to grow linearly from adding up to three more 9260-8i cards with CacheCade software per system.
“The idea that there are areas of physics still yet to be discovered is quite extraordinary, and LSI is proud that our storage technologies are playing a key role in research of such galactic importance,” said Brent Blanchard, director, worldwide channel sales and marketing, LSI. “From climate modeling to genome sequencing, LSI storage technologies are helping scientific researchers cost-effectively tackle some of the world's most diverse and demanding data storage challenges."
LSI will be demonstrating MegaRAID cards with CacheCade software at the 2011 International Supercomputing Conference (Stand #341) taking place this week in Hamburg, Germany.