The HPSS Collaboration

HPSS Collaboration

The HPSS Collaboration between IBM Houston Global Services and what are now five DOE National Laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Sandia) began in the fall of 1992. The goal was to produce a highly scalable high performance storage system. The High Performance Storage System (HPSS) needed to provide scalable hierarchical storage management (HSM), archive, and file system services. No product meeting the requirements existed. When HPSS design and implementation began scientific computing power and storage capabilities at a site, such as a DOE national laboratory, was measured in a few 10s of gigaops, data archived in HSMs in a few 10s of terabytes at most, data throughput rates to an HSM in a few megabytes/s, and daily throughput with the HSM in a few gigabytes/day. At that time, the DOE national laboratory and IBM HPSS design team recognized that we were headed for a data storage explosion driven by computing power rising to teraops/petaops requiring data stored in HSMs to rise to petabytes and beyond, data transfer rates with the HSM to rise to gigabytes/s and higher, and daily throughput with a HSM in 10s of terabytes/day. Therefore, we set out to design and deploy a system that would scale by a factor of 1,000 or more and evolve from the base above toward these expected targets and beyond.

Because of the highly scalable HPSS architecture these targets have been successfully met. We now recognize that computing power will rise to exaops by about 2020 with a corresponding rise in the need to scale storage in its various dimensions by another factor of 1,000. Further, other major application domains, such as real-time data collection, also require such extreme scale storage. We believe the HPSS architecture and basic implementation, built around a scalable relational database management system (IBM’s DB2) make it well suited to this challenge.

For a distributed collaboration such as the HPSS Collaboration that is producing a major software system to be successful careful thought went into its basic organization. Its basic governing document is a Collaboration Agreement spelling out intellectual property rights of the development partners and their management and organization. IBM has the responsibilities for commercialization and deployment, outside the development partners. There is an Executive Committee co-chaired by IBM and DOE lab representatives that sets major development and other policies. This group meets several times a year, primarily by teleconference. HPSS development is overseen by a Technical Committee coordinated by an IBM project manager. This group is generally organized around the major architectural modules of the system. It meets weekly, and more often as needed, by teleconference and once or twice a year in person. Development of the system follows industry standard software engineering practices and has an SEI CMM Level 3 rating. Following these software engineering practices has been a major factor in its success in producing a stable maintainable product.

The HPSS collaboration is based on the premise that no single organization has the experience and resources to meet all the challenges represented by the growing imbalance between computing power and data collection capabilities, and storage system I/O, capacity, and functionality. Over 20 organizations including industry, Department of Energy (DOE), other federal laboratories, universities, National Science Foundation (NSF) supercomputer centers and French Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) have contributed to various aspects of this effort.

The primary HPSS development team consists of

  • IBM Global Business Services (Houston, TX)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM)
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA)
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Energy Research Supercomputer Center (Berkeley, CA)
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN)
  • Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Direction des Applications Militaires (Bruyeres le Chatel, France)
  • Gleicher Enterprises (Tucson, AZ)
HPSS Developers Conferences

The HPSS Technical Committee held their version 8 design meeting in Houston, April 6-9, 2010. Click here to see some photo highlights of the event.


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HPSS Collaboration
What's New?
HPSS @ ISC17 - ISC17 is the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference for high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. ISC17 will be in Frankfurt, Germany, from June 18th through 22nd.

IBM single client briefing details found HERE.

Schedule a briefing by sending an email to Fabienne.Wegener@de.ibm.com

2017 HUF - The 2017 HPSS User Forum will be hosted by the high energy accelerator research organization Kō Enerugī Kasoki Kenkyū Kikō, known as KEK, in Tsukuba, Japan from October 16th through October 20th, 2017 - Learn More

HPSS @ SC17 - SC17 is the 2017 international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. SC17 will be in Denver, Colorado from November 14th through 17th.

Come visit the HPSS folks at the IBM booth and schedule an HPSS briefing at the IBM Executive Briefing Center - URL coming soon!

Swift On HPSS - Leverage OpenStack Swift to provide an object interface to data in HPSS. Directories of files and containers of objects can be accessed and shared across ALL interfaces with this OpenStack Swift Object Server implementation - Contact Us for more information, or Download Now.

Capacity Leader - ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) has a single HPSS namespace with 269 PB spanning 282 million files.

File-Count Leader - LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) has a single HPSS namespace with 64 PB spanning 966 million files.

RAIT - Oak Ridge National Laboratory cut redundant tape cost-estimates by 75% with 4+P HPSS RAIT (tape stripe with rotating parity) and enjoy large file tape transfers beyond 1 GB/s.
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