Fungible has increased its NVMe/TCP storage-to-server bandwidth from 6.55 million to 10 million IOPS by replacing Mellanox NICS with its own Storage Initiator cards, claiming a world record.
Fungible has developed its own Data Processing Unit processor chip and says it is better for so-called east-west communications in a data center than x86-based servers and standard Ethernet NICs and switches, Fiber Channel switches, etc. The FS1600 is a clusterable 2U x 24-slot NVMe SSD array with Fungible’s DPU chip and software driving it, which produced 6.55 million IOPS when paired with a server using Mellanox ConnectX-5 NICs.
Eric Hayes, CEO of Fungible, said, “The Fungible Storage Initiator cards developed on our… Fungible DPU free up massive amounts of server CPU resources to run application code, and the application now has faster access to data than ever before.”
The 10 million IOPS run took place at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and used a Gigabyte R282-Z93 server with a dual 64-core AMD EPYC 7763 processor, 2 TB of memory and five PCIe 4 expansion slots.
The slots were filled with five Fungible S1 cards, and these were coupled with an undisclosed amount of capacity and an undisclosed number of FS1600 Fungible storage target arrays over an Ethernet LAN with undisclosed bandwidth. Unlike the system that used Mellanox NICs, which nearly saturated the host server’s CPUs, this system, with Fungible’s NVMe/TCP Storage Initiator (SI) software, took only 63 percent of the Gigabyte server’s cores confiscated, meaning 47 of them were able to run application code.
John Graham, a senior engineer with appointments at SDSC and the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, said: “The Fungible solution has set a new bar for storage performance in our environment. The results are potentially transformational for large-scale scientific cyber infrastructure such as the Pacific Research Platform. (PRP) and its successor, the National Research Platform (NRP).”
Fungible delivered, he said, “A high-performance storage solution that meets our planned density and cost requirements.”
If we say that each Fungible S1 card delivered 2 million IOPS from an FS1600, then 10 of them could provide 20 million IOPS and thus theoretically equal the 20 million IOPS system performance of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array. That could be spread over ten servers in a data center. If Fungible has an equally compelling price/performance message to back up its performance message, then we have a newcomer to the enterprise storage array market, as well as the supercomputing and high-performance computing market.
However, one aspect of the setup is that the storage initiator cards are proprietary – in fact they are not replaceable, as other Ethernet NICs cannot sustain the performance number of 2 million IOPS. Of course, once Fungible’s composability software is fully available, the cards will be fully fungible within the composable data center infrastructure scheme.