The fastest storage for the fastest system: Summit

Share this post:

This week in Frankfurt, Summit was crowned the “Fastest System in the World” in the biannual Top500 survey. The ORNL system is the most powerful, with over 200 petaflops of NVIDIA and IBM Power Systems compute, but it is much more.

This is no ordinary system. It is purpose-built to use GPUs and excel on artificial intelligence (AI) workloads. AI differs from traditional high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. The majority of HPC is devoted to using computers to simulate the real world using mathematical models. There are many import applications, from drug development to weather predictions.

In contrast, AI programs are trained on historical data and predict new results as data comes in. In most cases, the data is unstructured, dense and diverse. These can consist of images, files, documents and datasets. Already a leader in data throughput, scalability and latency, IBM Spectrum Scale has been developed to deliver a file system for the fastest supercomputer in the world — one that was purpose-built for AI workloads with over 12,000 NVIDIA GPUs.

The aggregate numbers are staggering. Summit’s 250-petabyte storage system is delivered by a cluster of 77 IBM ESS Storage Systems that will deliver 2.5 TBs of data. But the real work has been on small file performance, where IBM Spectrum Scale has a 700 percent improvement in small file reads compared to our 4.2.2 version. Summit will have the capacity of 30B files and 30B directories and will be able create files at a rate of over 2.6 million I/O file operations per second. That is opening every book in the US Library of Congress in 10 seconds.

As impressive as these numbers are, it is really the impact these innovations can have for our clients, regardless of their size, that matters.  Whether it is the throughput required for a cluster of SAP HANA systems or GPUs, extreme low latency on NVMe all-flash, fast metadata search across billions of files, media serving or small file performance, the same IBM Spectrum Scale software that is driving Summit is available for you.

To read more about the Summit performance numbers read Ray Lucchessi’s analysis here.

Portfolio Manager, Spectrum Scale

More Storage stories

IBM Spectrum LSF goes multicloud

IBM is moving swiftly to implement multicloud capabilities across both our IBM Spectrum Storage and IBM Spectrum Computing portfolios. In an important step for our high-performance computing (HPC) solutions, today we’re announcing the release of a deployment guide that facilitates the use of IBM Spectrum LSF Suite with Amazon Web Services (AWS). IBM Spectrum LSF […]

Continue reading

Modern data protection innovations to fight cyber threats

In 2018, the average cost of a data security breach approached $3.9 million. But organizations that fully deployed security automation saved over $1.5 million per breach.[1] These metrics demonstrate the value of effective data protection and security solutions, and underscore the significance of recent data security-related announcements from IBM. “ESG’s research clearly shows that data […]

Continue reading

Innovating Deployment for Critical Applications

These days, the business world is changing rapidly. Data-driven enterprises need IT solutions that are evolving and improving as quickly as the companies themselves. Recent announcements from IBM Storage demonstrate that IBM is continuing to provide leading-edge data management and storage innovation across the entire information lifecycle, from creation to archive. IBM Spectrum Scale, a […]

Continue reading