Mark Fernandes
Dell's Dr. Mark Fernadez

Recently Dell and Scientific Computing published a white paper titled High Performance Computing Storage: A Template for Success (see www.DellHPCSolutions.com under Dell HPC Solutions section). In addition to the recommendations found in that report, another tool exists which might be able to help, depending upon your environment. A Hierarchical Storage Management system or HSM, in its simplest sense does three things:

  1. Automatically manages storage subsystems in a tiered virtual environment;
  2. Continuously monitors and automatically moves files and data between different storage tiers; and
  3. Allows files and data to always appears to be online to end users and applications regardless of the actual storage location.

When there exists both a storage budget and a capacity requirement, corners are often cut to meet these needs. Realizing that all of the HPC storage (a) does not need to be the fastest available; (b) does not need to be directly connected to HPC compute resources; and (c) that some could be on bulk online storage or tape, then an HSM could allow for both capacity and budgetary needs to be met. In many cases total capacity is dramatically increased within the budget without sacrificing HPC performance or throughput.

In the next part of this blog, we will cover additional details of an HSM, its roles and responsibilities. If you have comments or can contribute additional information, please feel free to do so.

--MRF