High Performance Storage System

HPSS is the archival mass-storage resource at ORNL and consists of robotic tape and disk storage components, Linux servers, and associated software. Incoming data is written to disk and later migrated to tape for long term archival. As storage, network, and computing technologies continue to change, ORNL’s storage system evolves to take advantage of new equipment that is both more capable and more cost-effective.

Specifications and Features

  • Tape libraries: SL8500
  • Cartridge capacity per library: Up to 10,000 cartridges
  • Drives per library: (24)T10K-A, (60)T10K-B, (36)T10K-C, (72)T10K-D
  • Individual drive bandwidth: 250MB/s

HPSS History

ORNL’s work in mass storage began in the early 1990s to support the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement project and to provide storage for simulation results generated on the NCCS’s Paragon supercomputers. To support those projects, ORNL acquired and ran the NSL UniTree storage management product.

In 1993, a follow-on to NSL UniTree known as HPSS was being designed by IBM and a collaboration of Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories (Sandia, Livermore, and Los Alamos). ORNL joined that collaboration and took on responsibility for the storage system management (SSM) portion of the product, for which the ORNL HPSS development team continues to be responsible.

ORNL continued with NSL UniTree production use until 1997, at which time the conversion to HPSS was completed. In 1997, HPSS won an R&D 100 Award based on an entry initiated and prepared at ORNL.