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November 2012

By Barbara Murphy on November 28, 2012

I recently read a quote from the US secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. He said: “The nation that leads the world in high-performance computing will have an enormous competitive advantage across a broad range of sectors.”  I couldn’t agree more, so it was a shame to experience the absence of so many national government laboratories at Supercomputing 2012.  Sadly, many of the big national labs pulled out from the show, in part due to federal budget cut-backs, but also as a result of the scandal involving the General Services Administration.  Not exactly the recipe for leading...

By Barbara Murphy on November 12, 2012
Categories: Big Data Solutions, Hadoop

A major theme here at Supercomputing 2012 is the use of Hadoop for big data analytics.  In partnership with Hortonworks, Panasas is demonstrating Hadoop running on our recently announced Panasas ActiveStor 14 parallel storage system at Supercomputing 2012, booth 3421.

The technology requirements of big data applications vary dramatically for legacy storage and compute technologies.  Big data workloads strain traditional storage architectures in three key ways: scale, bandwidth, and volume and variety of unstructured data.  Under the mantle of HPC, a new ecosystem had...

By Geoffrey Noer on November 6, 2012

This post is the second in a series of many on solid state storage and its use in parallel storage solutions.

How SSDs Work

Inside all SSDs are two major components:  Number of NAND flash memory chips and a controller.  The number of memory chips determines the capacity of the drive.  The controller, being the “brain” of the SSD, has the responsibility of making the collection of NAND flash chips look like fast HDDs to the host system.

This is not easy.

In order accomplish its job the SSD controller must perform the following tasks: