DDN updates EXAScaler software with new management framework and Hot Nodes

DataDirect Networks (DDN) has released an updated version of its EXAScaler parallel file system software with configuration and management APIs to automate its operation, support for Nvidia’s GPU-Direct Storage, and Hot Node caching.

The company has also added a single SKU offering, combining its A3I AI storage system with Nvidia’s DGX SuperPOD, providing better management insights, and says it has extended its Tintri IntelliFlash portfolio.

DDN A3I system.

The EXAScaler product line delivers Lustre parallel file system arrays based on underlying SFA drive systems. The fifth generation product — EXA5 — was announced in June 2019 and the new EXA6 comes two years later.

There are ES200NVX and ES400NVX 2U 24-bay NVMe SSD appliances, SFA7990X 90x 3.5-inch bay appliances and the SFA18KX, billed as the world’s fastest appliance pumping out 3.2 million IOPS from its 4U box holding NVMe and SAS SSDs and HDDs.

The EXA6 software release adds:

  • EXAScaler Management Framework (EMF) with APIs for configuration and management;
  • Support for the latest Nvidia Magnum IO GPU-Direct Storage;
  • Online upgrades; 
  • Automatic tiering enhancements; 
  • Hot Nodes for client-side persistence.

The Hot Nodes feature automatically caches data on the local NVMe storage of Nvidia GPU systems, reducing IO latency and traffic by avoiding network round trips. DDN says Deep Learning (DL) models often require datasets to be re-read many times, and Hot Nodes cache data in the GPU server thereby avoiding repeated data reads from storage.

DDN Insight is a configuration and monitoring product. Version 4.0 collects data on individual jobs, IO metrics, workload analysis and GPU usage, to provide comprehensive job views and lightweight profiling. The idea is to help admin staff resolve workload and infrastructure problems more quickly.

The A3I + Nvidia DGX SuperPOD single SKU includes the 20 DGX A100 systems inside the SuperPod, InfiniBand infrastructure, all-flash storage and support in a converged infrastructure-style offering. It’s been produced in partnership with Arrow Electronics and is available for certified resellers.

Get a DDN Insight 4 data sheet here.

EXAScaler 6 and Insight 4.0 are targeted for release in Q3 2021. The expanded range of IntelliFlash systems is available now. The Nvidia DGX SuperPOD single SKU is available for DDN and Nvidia certified partners and their customers.