Imperial College London is a one-of-a-kind university, focusing exclusively on the four main disciplines of science, engineering, medicine and business. It\u2019s considered one of the world\u2019s leading university research centers \u2014 and a center for high-impact research. Its research community shares ideas, expertise and technology in the pursuit of finding answers to today\u2019s biggest scientific challenges.\nAnswering the needs of a robust research community\nThe Research Computing Service (RCS) department of the college is responsible for addressing the IT needs of the research community. The RCS team was recently challenged to find a robust, reliable storage solution that could efficiently manage and protect large volumes of research data from inception to archive.\nAs part of the new storage initiative, the team wanted to accomplish several goals. First and foremost was to eliminate 30 fragmented islands of storage and replace them with a single system that could be centrally managed and supported. Any solution should also guarantee consistent high performance for an excellent user experience and continue to deliver service for decades \u2014 including the ability to scale and integrate with future high performance computing (HPC) systems. The team also needed to ensure responsible data management, compliant with laws and regulations. Finally, RCS preferred a solution that enabled them to charge users by consumption rather than capacity.\nA custom, collaborative solution for HPC storage\nBecause the requirements for guaranteed performance, scalability and integration substantially increased the complexity of the project, the RCS team turned to ArcaStream\u2122 to help them craft a custom HPC storage solution that could seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure and be ready to support future storage strategies.\nArcaStream helped RCS launch the Research Data Store (RDS), an HPC storage solution that runs ArcaStream\u2019s PixStor\u2122 framework on a Dell EMC Ready Solution for HPC PixStor Storage.\nPixStor is a high\u2011performance shared\u2011disk file management software that provides fast, reliable access to data from multiple servers. It can share data using multiple protocols, including NFS, SMB, S3 and Rest. It enables seamless storage scaling, advanced search and analytics, tiering, and unified management through a single storage namespace.\nThe Ready Solution runs PixStor on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell PowerVault storage to deliver exceptional reliability and performance at a commodity price point. Dell EMC PowerEdge R740 Servers run and serve the filesystem to the HPC clients, as well as to the general research community via an ArcaStream NAS stack.\nExcelero\u00ae NVMesh\u00ae software was used to provide a scalable NVMe tier for extreme metadata performance. And Mellanox\u2019s Spectrum\u00ae and ConnectX\u00ae provide a hybrid network infrastructure that can deliver data via InfiniBand and Ethernet. With a 100GbE networking backbone, it allows the solution to scale easily as the university\u2019s requirements increase.\nFive petabytes and growing\nThe RDS provides the Imperial College London\u2019s research community with an additional five petabytes of research storage to serve their existing 2,500 HPC nodes. They can now serve more than 3,000 desktop users simultaneously, with 20GB\/s throughput and no loss of interactive user performance.\nReplication of one billion files can now be performed overnight, in less than eight hours. And the Ngenea\u2122 disaster recovery platform is set to tier colder data to external storage so the system can grow without expanding its physical footprint.\nThe system also provides advanced analytics capabilities so the RDS team can make informed decisions on the true cost of data and model expansion scenarios for more efficient control of expenditures and growth strategies. And better security enables the college to meet stringent data regulations.\nAll of this is available on a single centrally managed platform that reduces complexity, eliminates storage silos and provides greater agility and insight to manage storage capacity and performance.\nPeace of mind for future expansion \nThe Dell EMC Ready System for HPC PixStor Storage gives the Imperial College London peace of mind that they will continue to be able to support their researchers\u2019 data storage needs. RDS can plan for long-term storage requirements with the confidence of a system that can scale to support year-over-year multi-petabyte data growth.\nTo learn more\n\nRead the ArcaStream customer case study, \u201cImperial College London,\u201d 2019.\nLearn about technologies for HPC-driven research at com\/HPC.