• DDN STORAGE CONDOS ENABLE
      COST EFFECTIVE, MULTI DEPT
      PURCHASING POWER TO
      DELIVER HPC PERFORMANCE

NCSA CAMPUS CLUSTER

QUICK FACTS
Industry: Academic Research

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides world-class computing, data, networking, and visualization resources and services to meet science needs. Established in 1986 as one of the original sites of the National Science Foundation’s Supercomputer Centers Program, NCSA is supported by the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, the National Science Foundation and other
federal agency grants.

In the area of collaborative eScience, NCSA has created a powerful distributed yet integrated environment that makes it much easier for more researchers across diverse fields of inquiry—encompassing astronomy, bioinformatics, computational linguistics, social dynamics, reactor physics and other researc h areas—to take full advantage of powerful digital resources and services. NCSA plays a major role in helping facilitate high-performance computing resource sharing as it’s essential to research in many disciplines across the Illinois campus, including astronomy, physics, chemistry, engineering and more.

 

CHALLENGES

  • Dwindling mid-range research funding drove need for condo-style campus clusters across a single shared environment, which was extremely complex
  • Accommodating multiple generations of hardware, interconnected technology and storage in one unified system pushed the limits of what storage clusters could do
  • Ensuring equal access to all types and any number of nodes was complicated, including determining how to handle queuing and configurations

SOLUTION

  • DDN’s SFA10K and SFA12K-based Storage Condos with nearly 1PB of raw capacity to centrally support multiple departments

RESULTS

  • Research dollars are stretched farther by consolidating department buying power, accelerating scientific discovery in areas such as astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering
  • Illinois Campus Cluster Program‘s storage is optimized for a varied mix of compute workloads and shortened project start-up times while achieving major economies of scale with centralized computing systems, data center facilities and support operations

BUSINESS BENEFITS

  • With its condo-style campus clusters, NCSA can accelerate scientific discoveries by lowering the barriers that previously impeded the use of shared computing and storage resources
  • Grad students no longer are burdened with systems admin duties so they can focus more on their science while individual groups no longer have to deal with IT operational costs
  • Researchers can achieve up to 20 percent more computer and storage resources for their investments

TECHNICAL BENEFITS

  • DDN delivered the right blend of IOPS, bandwidth performance and efficient capacity management to accomplish NCSA’s business goals.
  • DDN’s high-performance storage enabled NCSA to prove its condo-style campus clusters would offer optimized storage for a wide variety of requirements across a single shared environment.
  • With DDN’s highly scalable storage platform, NCSA was able to add storage in increments.

PRODUCTS USED

INDUSTRY

NCSA CAMPUS CLUSTER ONLINE

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