Panasas ActiveScale Storage Cluster Helps University of Cologne Become Regional Powerhouse for Clustered Linux Computing

Posted by grouch on Jun 28, 2006 11:05 PM EDT
PR Newswire; By Press release
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Panasas Storage Cluster Enables Prestigious University to Increase the Speed of Research and Maximize Cluster Performance

FREMONT, Calif., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasas, Inc., today announced the University of Cologne in Germany has deployed the Panasas ActiveScale Storage Cluster (TM) to address the ever-growing bandwidth and performance demands being placed on their Linux cluster resources. The Panasas storage solution supports complex, computational research performed on campus, at neighboring universities and at technical laboratories in the region near Cologne. Since deployment, the Panasas Storage Cluster has delivered more than a 30X performance improvement over the university's legacy NFS storage solution.

The Center for Applied Informatics at the University of Cologne is a centralized computing resource that serves a community of more than 50,000 students, faculty and regional academic researchers. High-performance computing is utilized to study complex problems ranging from climate modeling to molecular processes to the formation of stellar bodies. These compute-intensive projects require very fast storage systems that must be capable of near-linear scalability to handle the processing demands of very large data sets. The Center deployed the Panasas ActiveScale Storage Cluster to maximize cluster productivity by eliminating I/O bottlenecks that hindered performance. The Panasas solution created a more manageable pool of shared storage that is accessed by multiple compute resources and offers virtually limitless scalability.

"As our demand for HPC resources continued to grow, our existing storage and multiple NFS file systems could not keep pace with the increased load," said Ulrich Lang, director at The Center for Applied Informatics. "We evaluated several high-end storage solutions to see which one could increase cluster performance, scale easily from hundreds to thousands of terabytes and offer us the highest levels of availability. Panasas outperformed the competition and was put into production after only a few weeks of rigorous testing."

The Panasas Storage Cluster, featuring the fully-parallel DirectFLOW(TM) data path, enables direct access between the center's NPACI Rocks Cluster nodes and Panasas storage, eliminating performance bottlenecks. By providing an integrated hardware/software solution that combines a parallel file system with clustered NFS and CIFS, Panasas enabled the center to quickly and seamlessly integrate a new high-performance storage system into its existing infrastructure. This seamless integration has enabled the center to maximize its IT investments and reduce the overall cost of its HPC infrastructure. The Panasas storage solution has increased IT staff productivity by streamlining tedious management burdens so administrators can support more research projects.

The Panasas Storage Cluster delivers scalable capacity and bandwidth, all from within a single global namespace, and enables the integration of more storage capacity on an as-needed basis. As the number of nodes in the Linux cluster grows, and storage capacity increases, the system provides near linear scalability in both performance and system throughput.

"The University of Cologne joins the growing list of prestigious universities leveraging the Panasas Storage Cluster and high-performance computing to achieve their research goals," said Larry Jones, vice president of marketing at Panasas. "We were able to provide the university with a clustered storage solution that deployed seamlessly into their existing infrastructure and delivered immediate cost savings, manageability improvements and performance benefits."

About Panasas

Panasas, Inc. helps companies accelerate the speed and accuracy of their business decisions, leading to real world breakthroughs that improve people's lives. Panasas enables customers to maximize the benefits of Linux clusters by breaking down the storage bottleneck created by legacy network storage technologies. Through the delivery of the company's Storage Cluster platform, which combines industry-standard hardware with the company's ActiveScale File System and professional services, the company has become the established leader in object-based, clustered storage. Panasas' headquarters are in Fremont, Calif., with development facilities in Pittsburgh, Pa. For more information, please visit

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