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Workstations capable of taking in data to disk or ram from a 10Ge connection without any waits

Posted on 2009-05-15
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We are taking images from computers attached to microscopes which acquire images in many different formats and in many different ways.  Some of these will be high-speed time lapse images which could come in to the  microscope computers at 100 plus frames per second.  Stacks of these images could be as large as 10s or even 100 GBytes in size.  When experiments are done these images will be dumped to a server over cat5e gige connections.  The workstations that we are talking about are going in a room for image processing visualization and analysis off line.  There will be a variety of software packages which will be used for this.  Each workstation will have at least 1 cat5e gigabit ethernet connection (we are hoping that we can boost this to 10G but that does not seem to be probable right now).  We would want to have the workstations capable of taking in data to disk or ram from a 10Ge connection without any waits.  This should be a bit under 100Mbytes per second and should not be a problem with the Motherboard and cpus we specified. We will also have a lot of computationally intensive tasks to be performed on these images which is why we want the new i7 core cpus with the on-chip memory controller.  These computations have been clocked at 10 to 15 min on dual 4 core xeons with 16G of ram, so the number crunching is substantial.  We don't want to have these images stored on the workstations but left on the server so that they can be accessed from any of the workstations.

We would want to know the best way too retrieve them,  We also would want to have the workstations capable of taking in data to disk or ram from a 10Ge connection without any waits?


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Question by:ftravaline
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Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 24398074
It sounds like you're going to have to go with some kind of RAID array - individual drives can only transfer data at a maximum of 100Mbytes/sec under ideal conditions, and if you want high write speed as well as high read speed, a RAID 10 array with 15,000 rpm SAS drives may be necessary.  You can implement this on both ends of the network, in both the workstations and the servers.
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by:elf_bin
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I'm a little confused with your question, Are you concerned that a workstation will not be able to read data from a 10GB link fast enough?
If you're worried about storage speed, then solid state disks (SSD) offer the best available read speeds at the moment, but cost a lot of money.

Please clarify your question.

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