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Canadian synchotron implements scaleable storage for HPC

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Isilon has announced that the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s national synchrotron research facility, has deployed one of the company's scale-out storage systems to power its research into the structural and chemical properties of a wide range of natural and manufactured materials.

Using Isilon’s X-Series, powered by the OneFS operating system, CLS has consolidated the majority of its file-based user shares and some of its VMware-based servers onto a single file system, simplifying both data and virtual server management. By using Isilon's storage solutions, the company says, CLS is able to scale a single storage resource as required in order to meet the demands of the facility's data-intensive scientific applications, thereby minimising capital and operating costs while reducing processing times for leading-edge research.

'With demand continuing to increase for our synchrotron-based research, we needed to move away from the complexity and limitations of our traditional SAN [storage area network] to a simpler, more flexible and cost-effective storage solution,' said Christopher Angel, IT systems analyst, CLS. 'Isilon fit the bill, as it not only simplified management and improved application performance, but its scale-out architecture also ensures we’ll never need a forklift upgrade again.'

CLS is pioneering the use of synchrotron-based research in Canada’s scientific community, with synchrotron radiation providing new insights in archaeology, materials research, earth sciences and biomedical research. Prior to Isilon, CLS’ traditional SAN system complicated data management and limited CLS’ ability to scale performance and capacity in-line with application demands.

Working with Isilon channel partner JumpPoint, CLS deployed Isilon scale-out storage to consolidate staff home directories, file-based user shares, project data, and one of its virtual server clusters onto a single, shared pool of storage, simplifying data management to improve application performance and research productivity. Isilon’s scale-out architecture allows CLS to add or remove nodes in minutes without any downtime or interruption, eliminating the need for disruptive system upgrades and ensuring research continues unabated.