The Changing Nature of JASMIN

Presentation: pdf (9 MB)

This talk was part of a set of four to give attendees at the JASMIN user conference some understanding of the recent and planned changes to the physical JASMIN environment.

The introduction covers a logical and schematic view of the JASMIN system and why it exists, before three sections covering the compute usage, data movement, and storage growth over recent years. JASMIN shows nearly linear growth in total users, active users with data acess and active users of both the LOTUS batch cluster and the interactive generic science machines. Despite the changing size of the batch cluster (it has grown in size) we have managed to keep utilisation in the target 60-80% range (we have deliberately targeted a lower utilisation rate so as to allow the use of batch to be more immediate, given that keeping the data online is the more expensive part of this system). Usage of the managed cloud systems has been substantial, and the cloud itself has grown, targetting more customised solutions for a wide array of tenants. External cloud usage has been relatively low, which reflects the lack of elasticity and its usage for primarily pets rather than cattle. Where JASMIN is really unique however is in the amount of data movement invovled in the day to day business, with PB/day being sustained in the batch cluster for significant periods. Archive growth has been capped, but shows some interesting trends, as does the volume of Sentinel data held - and overall growth has been linear despite a range of external constraints and self-limiting behaviours. Elastic tape usage started small, but has become more signficant as disk space constraints have become more of an issue - this despite a relatively poor set of user facing features.

These factors (and others) led to the 2017/18 phase 4 capital upgrade which is being deployed now, with a range of new storage types. Looking forward, it is clear that the “everything on disk” is probably not the right strategy and we have to look to smarter use of tape.