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NetApp’s Raijin deal was driven by simple value for money

Two million dollars worth of kit now delivered

Comment NetApp is supplying Data ONTAP storage for use on an Aussie supercomputer (Raijin), which already uses DDN storage, and we wondered about the whys and wherefores of adding three new hardware platforms and two new operating systems.

”The DDN storage in Raijin is used for fast scratch space, and our global data file system (gdata — made up of DDN SF12K arrays) is used to enable sharing of large datasets between our cloud environment and Raijin," said Allan Williams, NCI’s Associate Director (Services & Technologies).

"The NetApp equipment is being used to build gdata3, and it simply represented the best value for money that met or exceeded our requirements," he continued.

“The all-flash EF array will be used as the metadata storage as part of a Lustre file system that will operate over the E5600 arrays. The FAS array will be used for a home directory project to share home directories between Raijin and our cloud environment,” he added.

NetApp is working with Fujitsu and supplying:

  • Two FAS8040 systems running clustered Data ONTAP
  • One EF560 all-flash array
  • Twelve E5600 storage systems

The EF560 has a maximum raw capacity of 192TB.

There are three E5600 models, two with flash acceleration:

  • E5660 – capacity range of 360TB – 2.3PB (with 6TB drives) – 120 SSDs max
  • E5624 – capacity range of 43.2TB – 2.2PB – 120 SSDs max
  • E5612 – capacity range of 72TB – 2.3PB – zero SSDs

The FAS8040 can run up to 2.9PB.

All this kit – two million dollars worth of it – with its 11PB total of raw capacity, has now been delivered.

NetApp stated: “This procurement commences the build of the next generation of high-performance, global parallel filesystems at NCI for holding the national environmental research data collection, which will be accessible from the supercomputer and the cloud at ... 100Gb per sec.”

NCI said it “was also looking to utilise the benefits of SSD-enabled storage to deliver even faster access to data and a solution that would also integrate with VMware and OpenStack”.

Responding to NetApp muscling in on its turf, DDN said recently: “At times, NetApp can get very competitive on pricing in the HPC space as a means of trying to gain market share."

NCI shot back: “NetApp simply represented the best value for money that met or exceeded our requirements”.

There’s performance ... and then there’s price/performance. ®

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