Supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc. reviewed several storage options to recommend for the ARCHER joint solution, and Spectra Logic's T380 tape library stood out both in terms of technical specifications and economics. Barry Bolding, vice president of storage and data management at Cray, stated: "We've deployed Spectra Logic libraries in several of the world's largest HPC projects because, like Cray, Spectra Logic is a leader in performance, quality and support for its customers. In addition these systems are easy to use, reliable, scalable and affordable - all very attractive features for academic institutions." The installation of the Spectra Logic T380 was smooth and quick, allowing the EPCC team to relax knowing that the data stored on ARCHER was effectively archived.
Lesley Thompson, EPSRC's Director of Science and Engineering, commented: "We are committed to providing top-end advanced computing facilities while maximizing energy efficiency; Spectra Logic has helped us on both counts. The BlueScale interface in particular has made encryption and library management overall very easy and moving the tapes is also a smooth process thanks to the TeraPack trays."
The investment EPCC made in the Spectra Logic tape library is further protected by Spectra's TranScale technology: when an organization requires more throughput or capacity than its current library can handle TranScale allows it to re-use its existing components in a new T-Series library chassis.
In 1990 EPCC was founded "to accelerate the exploitation of parallel computing through industry, commerce and academia" and this has entailed developing simulation software that runs on parallel computers, as well as providing consultancy services and training. Today, EPCC houses an exceptional range of supercomputers including ARCHER and employs 75 staff committed to using these machines to find solutions to real-world problems.
In 2011 the Minister of Science announced funding for e-infrastructure investment including GBP 43 million earmarked for ARCHER to become the next HPC service at EPCC. The overall storage solution for the ARCHER bid needed to meet a number of requirements set out in the tender documents and responded to by Cray. The competitive procurement was run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC).
Brian Grainger, EVP of worldwide sales and sales operations at Spectra Logic, added: "When it comes to protecting very large volumes of data, tape is still the most cost-effective and reliable technology, especially when coupled with the levels of performance our libraries are capable of achieving. Spectra Logic is committed to supporting the high performance computing and research fields with products that deliver the required high capacity, low footprint and operational cost attributes. We are thrilled to be involved in such an exciting project as ARCHER."
The Spectra Logic T-Series libraries have been designed for ease of use in multi-department research environments and are compatible with both LTO and TS1140 technology tape drives and media.