University of South Dakota Research Computing Group Deploys Spectra Logic Storage Solutions

USD’s two supercomputing systems achieve high-availability sharing and long-term offsite storage with Spectra solutions

BOULDER, Colo. – Nov. 8, 2018Spectra Logic announced today that the Research Computing Group at the University of South Dakota (USDRCG) has deployed a Spectra® BlackPearl® Converged Storage System, a T380 Tape Library and Spectra® Verde® NAS solution to store their vital research data. The USDRCG serves the University of South Dakota academic community, as well as national and international collaborators, advancing discovery by making science, engineering and medicine more productive.

The USDRCG employs two supercomputer systems, boasting over 2000 and 680 cores respectively. Lawrence, the newest supercomputer, entered production in early 2018 and has an estimated performance of over 100 TFLOPS. Following increases to the user base, USD launched the South Dakota Data Store project to help manage the data generation, creating two service tiers – the Sharing Tier and the Archival Tier – to serve all faculty, staff, postdocs, students and graduate students in the state. The Sharing Tier provides high-reliability, high-availability, network-access for research demanding constant access to large amounts of data. The complementing Archival Tier provides long-term offsite archival data storage.

“When looking for the right storage for our network, a core requirement was the solution’s shareability across all stakeholders,” said Douglas Jennewein, director of Research Computing at USD. “BlackPearl’s hybrid ecosystem easily manages our research data, moving it seamlessly to correct tiers of storage, and greatly improving both data accessibility and usability for USD researchers and administrators.”

To store their vital research data, the university required a solution that would double their system’s data storage capacity, as well as provide the ability to scale up as data needs increased over time. The USDRCG deployed a Spectra Verde NAS solution, BlackPearl Converged Storage System and a T380 Tape Library with LTO drives. The implementation of this multi-tier and storage-diverse architecture enabled the high data reliability the university needed. The Verde NAS with 8TB SAS drives serves as the local file system on one site, and the BlackPearl and T380 as the archival platform at another site.

BlackPearl’s tight integration with the Globus research data management platform gave USDRCG the ability to communicate with all storage targets via one interface. Verde NAS is used with Globus as NFS/CIFS file storage and as a landing zone to stage archival data. Cyberduck and Spectra’s free and open source EON Browser are used to send any additional unmanaged data to the Archive Tier through BlackPearl.

BlackPearl’s specific migration capabilities allows USDRCG’s data to be moved from one storage type to another quickly and transparently, transferring data in the background while users continue to access assets without disrupting operations. This feature allows the research group to migrate tens of terabytes from a disk-based archive and onto its new system. This cohesive solution enables accessibility to a shared pool of storage from multiple sites and is designed to increase the USDRCG’s capacity tenfold. 

“USDRCG serves as a valuable resource for researchers and students in South Dakota and other parts of the world,” said Brian Grainger, chief sales officer at Spectra Logic. “They needed a comprehensive storage solution to protect and preserve this data long-term while providing shareability. The hybrid Spectra solution deployed was the perfect fit as it offers seamless data movement to targeted tiered storage, as well as scalability and increased data accessibility.”

Read Spectra Logic’s University of South Dakota Research Computing Group customer case study on our website here. Visit Spectra at SuperComputing 2018 in Dallas, TX, from Nov. 12-15, in Booth #2016.