Nikhef data center sets new speed world record

30 June 2021

At Nikhef’s computing center in Amsterdam, a new world record has been set in the rapid storage and readout of computer data. With 6.55 million operations per second, the US-produced Fungible system was almost twice as fast as competing equipment.

This was announced in Santa Barbara, home of Fungible. Dutch academic IT-network SURF and Juniper Networks were also involved in the experiments. Nikhef is interested in superfast storage of lots of data from particle experiments with the accelerators at CERN and elsewhere.

“We’re excited about the unparalleled speeds we’ve been able to achieve by using as many accelerator options as possible in the equipment. This allows us to minimize the difference between local and network storage.” says Jouke Roorda, high-speed systems engineer at Nikhef.

The experiment used a Fungible FS 1600 storage module, which is based entirely on flash memories with no moving parts.

“The FS1600 is the beginning of a new era in data storage, based on their Data Processing Unit,” says IT architect Tristan Suerink of Nikhef.

Fungible says it assumes the techniques can be used anywhere in data centers. “This will lead to more data storage at half the price,” the company said in a press release.

Nikhef is scouring for fast and affordable data processing with a view to multiplying the data flows from experiments at CERN in Geneva when the intense high-luminosity LHC accelerator comes on line there after 2026.