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Sandia National Labs Select Twenty SGI InfiniteStorage 4600

Based on LSI 7900

LSI Corporation announced that Sandia National Laboratories, the stewards of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, has upgraded the performance and reliability of its ‘Red Storm’ supercomputer by implementing an SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 solution based on the LSI Engenio 7900 HPC storage system.

Sandia-produced Command Disable System Tester,
used for nuclear weapons testing
at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo

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 over 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 70 GB/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.

"Storage performance is critical to maximizing supercomputing efficiency," said Steve Hochberg, senior director, HPC segment, LSI. "With over 60 petabytes deployed across a wide range of HPC environments, LSI Engenio storage systems are trusted by the world’s leading server OEMs and end customers to deliver the superior performance and enterprise-class reliability that the world’s most demanding applications environments require."

Based on LSI seventh-generation XBB2 architecture, the 7900 HPC storage system is ideally suited for environments that store and utilize vast amounts of data for high-bandwidth programs and complex application processing. The system combines industry-leading performance with advanced availability and reliability features to ensure continuous high-speed data accessibility and protection across a wide-range of HPC workloads.

Sandia purchased the SGI storage systems via a contract with Abba Technologies, a Silicon Graphics solutions integrator based in Albuquerque, N.M.

"Few scientific missions are more crucial to national security than the continuous monitoring of our nuclear arsenal," said Kurt Kuckein, InfiniteStorage product line manager, Silicon Graphics. "SGI is proud to work with LSI and Abba Technologies to deliver a high-performance storage solution to Sandia that will reliably meet their needs today, while providing a solid foundation for future projects."