World's first 100G OpenStack cloud

Monash University

Wednesday, 28 October, 2015

World's first 100G OpenStack cloud

Monash University claims its infrastructure has reached new performance levels for its researchers after debuting the world’s first end-to-end 100 G/s cloud.

Its Research at Cloud Monash (R@CMon) facility uses software-defined networking with unified, self-service system resources that range from commodity hardware to high-performance configurations of networking, computing and storage.

Cloud computing as a service has been gaining traction in education and public sectors to provide users with software-defined on-demand access to computing resources, boost big data driven innovation and achieve maximum infrastructure efficiency. Monash chose network hardware from Mellanox Technologies, using an Ethernet fabric built on Mellanox’s 56GbE SwitchX-2 and CloudX technology.

“Our researchers are building the 21st-century equivalent of microscopes to inspect and make sense of large amounts of data to derive insights, and our cloud-based eResearch platform must be able to support their initiatives in every possible way,” said Steve Quenette, deputy director of the Monash eResearch Centre.

“Whether it be accelerating next-generation sequencing to the clinic or making our cities smarter and more energy efficient, we need a mixture of scale, speed and flexible integration in our computing. Mellanox 100 Gbps Open Ethernet solutions enable the most efficient use of data for fast analytics and intelligence, and give us the ultimate freedom to grow and support our current and future workloads.”

Monash University said it has also established several virtual laboratories for data-intensive characterisation and analysis using virtual desktops and Docker-based tools linked up to data sources and computing resources.

The university said these are becoming the standard operating environment for their researchers to support general-purpose HPC and HTC (including GPGPU capabilities and Hadoop), interactive visualisation and analysis.

“As a key element of our CloudX architecture, our Spectrum Open Ethernet switch delivers non-blocking 6.4 Tb/s full wire speed switching and routing capacity with industry-leading latency and power efficiency,” said Kevin Deierling, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies.

Deierling said it is the world’s first non-blocking 100 Gigabit Ethernet switch, an efficient building block for cloud and HPC applications, processing and fulfilling requests in real time.

“Using Spectrum for 100 Gb/s backbone together with leaf and spine switching empowers Monash to have high-performance storage connected at Spectrum’s full 100 Gb/s, with 50 Gb/s connected hosts for HPC and 25 Gb/s connected hosts for general-purpose cloud to more effectively support the university’s growth and research prowess,” he added.

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