Whamcloud Leads Group of HPC Experts Winning DOE FastForward Storage and IO Project

"FastForward" Subcontract Shared by Integrated Team of Technology Partners Cray Inc., EMC Corporation, and The HDF Group

DANVILLE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 07/10/12 -- Whamcloud, a venture-backed company formed from a worldwide network of high-performance computing (HPC) storage industry veterans, has been awarded the Storage and I/O Research & Development subcontract for the Department of Energy's FastForward program. FastForward is a jointly funded collaboration between DOE Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to initiate partnerships with multiple companies to accelerate the research and development (R&D) of critical technologies needed for extreme scale computing, on the path toward exascale computing. Exascale computing is essentially a grand challenge to provide the next level of computational power required to help ensure the prosperity and security of the United States. The DOE's strategic plan seeks to address the nation's most pressing scientific challenges by advancing simulation-based scientific discovery made possible by the world's highest performing exascale supercomputers.

FastForward is administered by DOE and contracted through Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC as part of a seven lab consortium (Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories). The subcontract scope clearly identifies key R&D necessary for a new object storage paradigm for HPC exascale computing. The developed technology will also address next-generation storage mechanisms required by the Big Data market. The subcontract is set for a two-year schedule through the middle of 2014 and begins immediately.

The subcontract incorporates application I/O expertise from the HDF Group, system I/O and I/O aggregation expertise from EMC Corporation, and scale testing facilities from Cray, teamed with file system, architecture, and project management skills from Whamcloud. All components developed in the project will be open sourced and benefit the entire Lustre community.

"Whamcloud has the world's best file system team. Being chosen to lead this consortium in researching exascale issues is a real honor for the entire company. We could not be more excited and confident in this group's ability to tackle these hard problems," said Brent Gorda, CEO of Whamcloud. "We look forward to interacting with the community to push high performance computing forward."

"Cray is known for building innovative computing platforms that tackle a wide range of computational and storage scalability challenges. Working with Whamcloud to win the FastForward subcontract is a great example of our continuing commitment to the future of high performance storage and our strong belief in an open source community for Lustre," said Barry Bolding, Cray's vice president of storage and data management. "This is an important project for defining next generation high performance storage methods, and we're excited to bring our expertise in scaling Lustre to this important project."

"The I/O stack for exascale supercomputing needs a hybrid model that leverages the performance and cost benefits of Flash and Disk, complemented with intelligent software. EMC storage technology is at the core of the exascale I/O stack," said Percy Tzelnic, Senior Vice President, EMC Fast Data Group. "The selection for research and funding from U.S. government agencies is recognition of EMC's long-standing storage leadership and presence in the HPC market. EMC is committed to help further the next leap forward in supercomputing -- catapulting commercial HPC into the exascale era."

"Today's large parallel systems generate enormous amounts of highly complex data at a very high rate. Achieving efficient I/O in this environment is incredibly difficult, and will become far more challenging in an exascale world. Our mission and commitment is to make sure this happens, and the idea that we can tackle the problem in partnership with Whamcloud, EMC and Cray is very exciting," said Mike Folk, president and executive director of the HDF Group.

For more information on Whamcloud see: http://www.whamcloud.com/

About Whamcloud
Whamcloud, composed of HPC storage veterans and well-known Lustre experts, implements and supports Lustre solutions in HPC centers around the world. Whamcloud actively promotes the growth, stability and vendor neutrality of Lustre. Lustre is utilized in over 60% of the TOP100 supercomputing sites today and is the best technology for addressing many of the exascale issues of tomorrow. http://www.whamcloud.com

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