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Sandia National Labs improves HPC storage system

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Sandia National Laboratories, which looks after the US nuclear weapons stockpile, has upgraded the performance of its Red Storm supercomputer with an improved storage solution. The new systems uses an SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 based on the LSI Engenio 7900 HPC storage system.

At over 280 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second), Red Storm is one of the world's most powerful supercomputers. Sandia upgraded Red Storm by installing an SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 solution consisting of 20 InfiniteStorage 4600 systems, which are able to store more than 1.8 petabytes of scientific data.

'National laboratories use supercomputers to answer some of the nation's most complex scientific and engineering questions,' said Jim Tomkins, a senior scientist/engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. 'In the case of Red Storm, we use it to run simulations that help us understand what is going on in a variety of complex areas. Storage is a key part of the overall system. It allows computations to be completed even though failures have occurred in the computer system, and is also used to store the simulation results so that they can be examined later.'
 
One of Sandia's goals in upgrading Red Storm was to reduce risk and improve service levels by decreasing system down time. They selected the InfiniteStorage 4600 solution after it delivered a sustained data transfer rate of 70GB/s and met the selection criteria of over eight weeks of continuous access to the system’s disk storage with no loss of user data.