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Météo France implements new storage solution

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LSI Corporation has announced that Météo France, the French national weather forecasting agency, has upgraded the performance and efficiency of its supercomputers by implementing an SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 storage solution based on the LSI Engenio 7900 HPC storage system.

Météo France collects and stores extraordinarily large volumes of meteorological data about Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and snow cover, which are then processed by a range of supercomputing applications including weather, marine and pollution forecasting. Météo France needed a new storage solution that could handle both existing data volumes and support data growth of 15 per cent per year. The storage solution also had to enable daily data transfers of more than 16 terabytes between disk and tape and allow users to quickly browse through nearly ten million small files.

'The faster the supercomputer is able to write results, the more time and money we save,' said Alain Beuraud, head of the HPC and Storage department at Météo France. 'We needed reliable, high performance storage that could handle the enormous data volumes while also providing us with the flexibility to store less active or older data on cheaper media.'

The SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 solution, based on the LSI Engenio 7900 HPC system technology, currently contains more than 400 terabytes of data and enables data transfer rates of up to 4GB/s. To meet Météo France's annual data growth rates, the system offers initial capacity of up to one petabyte through a combination of Fibre Channel and high-capacity SATA drive enclosures.

The system's high-density LSI Engenio DE6900 SATA drive enclosure can house 60 3.5-inch SATA drives in a 4U space. The enclosure allows Météo France to more efficiently utilise its limited IT space, enabling a 480TB system to reside within a standard 19-inch rack. The high density offered by the DE6900 enclosure can reduce power consumption by more than 30 per cent and floor space by more than 65 per cent.