By PierreReynes on Jun 18, 2009
The performance of some of the most popular High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications can be dramatically increased by simply swapping out drives. This is one of the findings by Larry McIntosh and Michael Burke, authors of the BluePrint "Solid State Drives in HPC: Reducing the I/O Bottleneck".
In one of the performance tests, by simply replacing the traditional 15K SAS Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) with SATA Solid State Drives (SSDs), the increase in productivity reached 54.42% (xxocmd2 and xlotdf1 NASTRAN benchmark tests running on 8 processing cores).
Similar tests are run with other HPC finite-element analysis applications such as ABAQUS or ANSYS as well as with the Lustre parallel file system (using IOZone) and they all demonstrated significant performance improvements.
This Sun BluePrints article is a must read if you are running HPC applications and I/O bottleneck is what limits your productivity.