NCSA Builds High- Performance Storage Solution Powered by DataDirect Networks

NCSA Centralizes Illinois Campus Cluster Program Storage Resources to Enable Cost Effective, Multiple Department Access, While Maintaining Supercomputing-level Performance

Int’l Supercomputing Conf (ISC) 2014, Leipzig, Germany — June 25, 2014

News Facts

  • By leveraging advanced computing to accelerate scientific discovery, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has deployed an investment-based, centralized compute and storage environment – a “storage condo” – as part of the Illinois Campus Cluster Program, powered by DataDirect Networks (DDN) SFA® high-performance storage.
  • As funding for mid-range research computing programs becomes more competitive, researchers are turning to centralized computing and storage systems to achieve economies of scale.
  • In this type of approach, referred to as a “condo” model, principal investigators and faculty can use their own funding to procure compute and storage resources that fit in a shared infrastructure. The savings achieved from the consolidated purchasing, shared facilities and centralized administration of the condo model provide users much greater flexibility to focus on research projects as compared to building their own environment.
  • Accordingly, 22 research teams at the University of Illinois have co-invested in the Illinois Campus Cluster Program‘s new condo-style campus cluster to support diverse research areas, including astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering. Ever-increasing research interest across the University of Illinois campus likely will result in doubling capacity on the DDN™ platform to more than two petabytes of storage in the near future.
  • With DDN technology, NCSA has optimized the Illinois Campus Cluster Program‘s storage 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.

Tweet This: NEWS: @DDN_Limitless condo storage clusters advance @NCSAatIllinois Campus Cluster Program and competitiveness

DDN Fortifies Condo Foundation with Industry-Leading Performance & Scalability

  • With DDN SFA10K and SFA12K storage, NCSA successfully accommodates multiple generations of clusters in a single environment with one queuing system, and a single storage pool is visible and available to all nodes.
  • DDN works seamlessly with NCSA’s site-wide parallel file system to enable researchers to communicate and move data between clusters reliably and securely.
  • The efficient capacity management and scalability of DDN storage gives NCSA the ability to evolve and expand storage resources quickly as more research groups buy into the condo model.

Supporting Quotes

According to John Towns, Director of Collaborative eScience Programs for NCSA:

  • “By consolidating their buying power, research teams gain access to larger, more powerful resources than they could afford separately, which enables them to stretch their research dollars farther.”
  • “With our highly flexible DDN storage, we can handle whatever comes our way with confidence by meeting our investors’ storage and compute requirements, while delivering major economies of scale.”

Supporting Resources

  • NCSA Case Study
  • University of South Florida Case Study
  • Follow DDN via Blog and Twitter

About DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the world leader in massively scalable storage. Our data storage and processing solutions and professional services enable content-rich and high growth IT environments to achieve the highest levels of systems scalability, efficiency and simplicity. DDN enables enterprises to extract value and deliver business results from their information. Our customers include the world’s leading online content and social networking providers, high performance cloud and grid computing, life sciences, media production, and security and intelligence organizations. Deployed in thousands of mission critical environments worldwide, DDN’s solutions have been designed, engineered and proven in the world’s most scalable data centers to ensure competitive business advantage for today’s information powered enterprise. For more information, go to or call 1-800-837-2298.


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