The technology is part of the lab's project to build a new file system, called Lustre, which groups together Linux computers to create a supercomputer known as a cluster.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is a project of the University of California and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, has also worked with other private companies, like Linux NetworX to meet its storage needs.
BlueArc, a San Jose, Calif.-based maker of NAS (enterprise network attached storage) systems, will provide the lab with its Si7500 storage systems. The systems will have a combined storage capacity of 115 terabytes, and be used in the lab's Multi-Programmatic and Institutional Computing Capability Resource (MCR) cluster project.
Once built, Livermore's Linux computing cluster will contain in excess of 700 nodes with two Pentium 4 processors per node, and a peak performance exceeding 6.7 teraflops. (The prefix "tera" takes a number three zeroes beyond "giga"--a trillion of something, versus a billion. The acronym "flops" refers to floating-point operations per second, which is a way of measuring certain mathematical calculations.)
The technology "represents a watershed change in the way we build clusters," said Mark Seager, assistant department head for Terascale Systems at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in a press release.
The new technology will allow the Lustre system to work with more than tens of thousands of computer servers accessing petabytes of storage at rates of hundreds of gigabytes per second, the company said.