Lawrence Livermore deploys world’s largest tape library from Spectra for exascale era success

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

For more than 60 years, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has applied science and technology to make the world a safer place. Livermore Computing (LC) designs, develops and deploys HPC capabilities not only in support of Livermore’s mission and program goals, such as the nation’s Stockpile Stewardship Program, but to improve national security and advance U.S. economic competitiveness.
LLNL 23 Frame

Spectra’s physically denser storage solution is much better for Livermore Computing. The Spectra libraries take up significantly less floor space than our previous libraries, which allows us to be more efficient and agile as the big computers come and go.

– Todd Heer, Deputy Program Lead, Facilities Operations and User Support, LLNL

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The Challenge

LLNL’s high performance computing (HPC) users produce massive quantities of data, averaging 30 terabytes (the equivalent of 58 years’ worth of digital music) every day. Not only must the data be kept indefinitely, but much of it is classified and must be protected with the highest standards of security. The solution is to safely archive—something Livermore Computing (LC) has been doing since 1967. But, as with all technology, data storage hardware becomes antiquated and expensive to maintain, thus requiring significant upgrades and maintenance at fairly regular intervals (every several years).
 

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The Solution

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is now home to the world’s largest Spectra TFinity system, following a complete replacement of the tape library hardware that supports Livermore’s data archives. Housed behind Sierra—the world’s second fastest supercomputer— the new Spectra tape library helps the Laboratory meet some of the most complex data archiving demands in the world and offers the speed, agility, and capacity required to take LLNL into the exascale era. It is capable of storing 294 petabytes of uncompressed data, which is enough space to hold the entire written works of humanity, in every language, since the beginning of history six times over. The new technology represents a 50% or better density improvement over outgoing LC tape media.

Environment Snapshot

  • 23-frame Spectra® TFinity® ExaScale Tape Library
  • 128 IBM® TS1155 tape drives
  • 19,575 tape slots
  • 21 SpectraVision cameras
  • Up to 294PB of uncompressed data
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