/Hyperscale Data Center Storage And Quantum Computing (via Qpute.com)

Hyperscale Data Center Storage And Quantum Computing (via Qpute.com)

This article talks about a recent Red Hat Ceph Storage announcement for petabyte-scale object storage and a new COTS servers supporting open standards from Supermicro.  We also look at recent claims by Active Cypher on how conventional computers running quantum computer algorithms are endangering current encryption and look at general funding for international quantum computing startups.

Red Hat announced the general availability of Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 for petabyte-scale object storage for cloud-native development and data analytics.  The product is based upon the Nautilus version of the Ceph open source project.

According to Red Hat, “Enabling organizations to deploy petabyte-scale Amazon Simplified Storage Service (S3) compatible object storage, Red Hat Ceph Storage delivers performance at scale while maintaining cloud economics.”  The company said internal testing delivered over a two-times performance boost for write intensive workloads

The company also said that, “With increased automation of data management and data placement activities, Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 helps infrastructure teams evolve from storage-centric to service-centric operational models, to serve a larger cross-section of applications and stakeholders. Sophisticated self-managing and self-healing capabilities available with Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 around automated backup, recovery, and provisioning, enhance not only scale but also business continuity for enterprises looking to offer “always on” service level agreements.”

Supermicro announced its MegaDC Servers as Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware supporting open standards for hyperscale data centers.  According to the company, “By reducing the component count and optimizing the power distribution and backplane designs, MegaDC servers deliver increased cost-effectiveness and reliability. For better flexibility, these new servers support open standards including OpenBMC (Baseboard Management Controller) for customized control over functionality and versioning, advanced I/O modules (AIOM) that support OCP V3.0 SFF cards, as well as common redundant power supplies (CRPS).”

The MegaDC launch introduces five new X11 systems composed of two 1U systems and three 2U systems for cloud quantity deployments. All of these MegaDC systems support two of the new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, 16 memory slots, a Supermicro Adanced I/O Module (AIOM) slot and dual 25G Ethernet ports. Additional features include bulk packaging designed to reduce unboxing time, optimized mechanical designs to maximize airflow to the CPUs, memory and GPUs, and low-resistance 12V single-source power distribution to increase system availability and energy-efficiency.

A Southern California startup, Active Cypher, has built a conventional computer with massive parallel processors (NVIDIA cards) running quantum algorithms, called QUBY.  It was showing the system at Microsoft’s internal Ready and the RSA conference.  The company was making the point that conventional encryption (RSA and AES) are nearing the end of their usefulness.   Of course, a true quantum computer will be much more efficient running quantum algorithms than this device, but devices such as this demonstrate the coming vulnerability of current encryption.

Active Cypher’s Dan Gleason said in an interview that, “With just $600 in hardware QUBY has been able to demonstrate calculations that take years on conventional computers can be solved substantially quicker.”

 He goes on to say that, “Between quantum-optimized algorithms and artificial intelligence, cracking mathematically based cryptographic algorithms such as AES will become much easier. While executing a massive superposition of possible outcomes to these algorithms requires a quantum device in the millions of qubits—remember the largest quantum computer today has a mere 72 qubits—similar results can be derived with quantum-optimized algorithms executing within a computer emulator running on consumer gaming video cards.” Quantum emulators like QUBY, running highly optimized cracking algorithms will computationally accelerate the cracking of contemporary encryption algorithms.

Active Cypher has developed advanced dynamic cyphering encryption that is built to be quantum resilient, based upon a very large random key used to create obfuscated cyphertext, without any key information within the cyphertext.  The company says that its completely random cyphertext cannot be deciphered using even large quantum computers since the only solution to cracking the key is to try every possible combination of the key and thus every known possible text output—a herculean task.

Meanwhile research on quantum computers continues.  UC Riverside said that they won a award of $3.75 M to focus on scalable quantum computing.  There are efforts on quantum computing underway at many other Universities and companies in the US and around the world.  According to Nature, by the start of 2019 private investors had funded at least 52 quantum-technology companies globally since 2012, many of them spun out from Universities.  The October 2019 Nature article estimates that in 2017 and 2018 companies received at least $450 M in private funding.  The infographic below shows the funding trends and international efforts.

Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 enables petabyte scale object storage.  Supermicro MegaDC servers provide COTS hardware for data centers.  Active Cypher shows vulnerability of conventional encryption and quantum computing funding increases.

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