"QSAN really gave us a lot more for less in terms of system performance. QSAN was able to exceed our expectations and with their product as the heart of our data infrastructure, we are always able to meet new requirements and tackle unexpected…"
The Nuclear Safety Institute (IBRAE) was established in 1988 with the aim of advancing basic research to address the problems of increasing safety of nuclear power plants. A balanced combination of fundamental research and topical applied projects is a sort of a ‘business card’ of the Institute and a conceptual framework of its activities in the field of nuclear, radiation and environmental safety of nuclear power engineering and nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The key feature of the Institute activities is a comprehensive nature of the studies, which cover a variety of problems ranging from numerical simulation of physical processes associated with the operation of reactor installations, nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel cycle enterprises and ending with analysis of radiological, environmental and socio-economic aspects of operation of nuclear power and nuclear industry facilities. IBRAE scientific and technical achievements over 25 years of activities have gained international recognition and are widely applied in the nuclear power industry.
We have a high-performance cluster with 20 nodes based on CentOS. All nodes use shared storage (storage node) to store intermediate calculations. The storage node consists of two independent servers with iSCSI storage system. The cluster has been used for a long time already and no longer met our performance standards for current tasks. So, an upgrade was needed. At the first stage, storage node was replaced. As the cluster was used in 24/7 mode, the uninterruptible upgrade process was needed.
We needed the storage system with the latest hardware platform because its life cycle was long. So, unit was to have powerful processor, large RAM cache, high availability, support third party HDDs and SSDs, easy maintenance and upgrade capabilities. Also, we decided to move from iSCSI to Fibre Channel interface due lower latency and higher throughput. The perfect solution is Qsan XCubeSAN XS5224-D with FC 16Gb host cards. The new storage servers were connected to XS5224 and to the existing Infiniband network. New shared folder was created and attached to cluster nodes. During some time period the existing data was moved from the old storage system to new one. Later old the storage node was disabled and removed.
XS5224D has 8 FC 16Gb ports. So up to 4 host can be directly attached to a storage system without using expensive FC switches. Because this solution has very high performance the decision was made to use this storage also for user's shared folders. The file server can be connected via 10Gb iSCSI interface that is built-in. So, for the upgrade, just a JBOD with additional disks is only needed. The future upgrade process will be easy and have predictable cost because third party HDDs are used.