EU flings cash from €80bn pot at Seagate-led HPC storage project

Commish: Quick, grab some exascale cash


+Comment Data storage giant Seagate is launching a SAGE European Exascale HPC project with nine partners to find ways for storage systems to work with exascale compute mills, as part of a multi-billion-dollar EU research and innovation programme.

Seagate claims the project will research and redefine data storage in the era of extreme data and exascale computing, meaning computer systems running at a billion billion calculations a second.

The CPUs will need to read and write data to/from storage systems that can keep up.

Seagate's SAGE project is a contribution to the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, claimed to be the largest EU research and innovation programme in history.

It will provide nearly €80bn of public funding over seven years (2014 to 2020) to support innovation in the technology sector; it seems the public sector loves both HPC/supercomputing and eye-catching public works.

SAGE is a short way of referring to Percipient StorAGe for Exascale Data Centric Computing. Well you would need a short way of saying that, wouldn't you, and PSEDCC doesn't exactly slip off the tongue.

What's with this "percipient" term? It means having good insight or understanding, so it could just be marketing.

There's more about it on the SAGE website where we learn its "architecture reflects the need for reducing data movement in order to improve energy efficiency, as well as the technology trend towards new non-volatile memory technologies".

It should use "a tiered storage approach with performance tiers that feature high bandwidth over power ratio (Byte/s/Watt) while capacity tiers feature large capacity over power ratio (Byte/Watt)".

"Multiple storage tiers as well as computing devices will be tightly integrated within a single system with a software stack that enables the efficient and cost-effective use of this heterogeneous hardware architecture," the site adds.

"The project will investigate the usage of next generation storage device technologies as part of the I/O hierarchy (including hardware as well as system software)," it concludes.

The SAGE Percipient Storage will have "the capability to run computations on data from any tier – with a homogeneous view of data throughout the stack," and Seagate is working in an object-based scheme with an API for applications that is designed, from the ground up, to cater for Exascale I/O loads and deep I/O hierarchies.

SEagate_Percipient_storage

Seagate SAGE Percipient Storage scheme. See the STT-RAM and RRAM tiers

The nine partners in the Horizon programme are France's BULL SAS (Atos SE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Germany's Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) and Forschungszentrum Jülich plus Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (KTH) from Sweden.

The UK's Allinea Software, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Diamond Light Source (UK’s national synchrotron science facility in Oxfordshire) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) complete the picture.

This SAGE scheme will run for three years from September 2015 and has eight fields of research, including:

  • Study of the application use cases
  • Co-designing solutions to address Percipient Storage Methods
  • Advanced Object Storage
  • Tools for I/O optimization
  • Supporting next generation storage media
  • Developing a supporting ecosystem of Extreme Data Management
  • Programming techniques and Extreme Data Analysis tools

Funding is provided through the "Towards Exascale High-Performance Computing", 2014/15 call, grant number 671500.

+Comment

It seems that it would be a great way for Seagate to develop its market requirements for coming Xyratex arrays or find an answer to DDN's WolfCreek burst buffer store issue - but we're sure the firm would never do that. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022