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Ohio Supercomputer Center Upgrades Storage and Backup Capacity with Tapes Scalable to 141PB in Coming Years

Working with Netapp to enable faster storage of larger data sets with more redundancy

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) upgraded 2 services to allow clients to store more data at a faster rate and strengthen backup.

Osc Upgrades Storage And Backup Capacity

Both of these projects are examples of how OSC is continuing to expand capacity and performance for computing storage and networking so that we can be a useful resource for the researchers who use OSC and the problems they are trying to solve,” said Doug Johnson, OSC associate director.

The first project, completed in December 2021, upgraded the home directories hardware originally deployed in 2016. OSC worked with its current vendor, NetApp, Inc., to update the service with minimal disruption for clients, Johnson said. The home directories have doubled the amount of data OSC can store and are now more than 3x as fast as the old storage system.

The home directories are just one facet of OSC’s storage services, but they are critical for providing consistent and reliable storage for client scripts and small data sets, Johnson explained.

OSC’s second project, slated for completion in January 2022, is the development of a new DR location in Cleveland, OH, for storage. This initiative will provide a physical twin of the Center’s Columbus tape library.

Every day when we backup data, we will replicate those changes at the Cleveland center,” Johnson said.

The Columbus tape library currently backups nearly 3 billion files with an aggregate size of over 8PB. The tape backup infrastructure is capable of redundantly storing up to 23.5PB of data and is anticipated to be scalable to over 141PB of capacity in the coming years.

OSC collaborated with the Ohio Technology Consortium’s Shared Infrastructure and OARnet divisions, leveraging an existing remote data center presence in northern Ohio and an increase in the network transport capacity (100Gb/s) as part of this project.

The Cleveland tape library has several benefits for clients, such as providing critical backup support for researchers whose work is funded by agencies that require long-term storage.

For us to be able to provide that service in a cost-effective way that integrates well with other OSC systems will be useful for our community,” Johnson said.

Both service upgrades are essential at a time when OSC is experiencing greater demand for its resources,” said Brian Guilfoos, HPC client services manager.

Changes accelerated by COVID resulted in significant growth in the numbers of classes leveraging OSC for instructional purposes,” he added. “Our ‘virtual computer labs’ offer consistent environments to students, easily accessible from personal computing devices. As a result we are seeing many more users Y/Y, requiring growth in the infrastructure supporting these user accounts.

About Ohio Supercomputer Center
It addresses the rising computational demands of academic and industrial research communities by providing a robust shared infrastructure and expertise in advanced modeling, simulation and analysis. It empowers scientists with the services essential to making discoveries and innovations, partners with businesses and industry to leverage computational science as a competitive force in the global knowledge economy and leads efforts to equip the workforce with the key technology skills required for 21st century jobs.

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