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NEC Chooses DDN’s Data Solutions for Modern Workloads to Power Advanced AI Research

CHATSWORTH, Calif., May 18, 2022 — DDN®, the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and multicloud data management solutions, today announced that NEC Corporation (NEC) has selected DDN storage for its new supercomputer dedicated to AI research.

With a raw compute performance of 580 PFLOPS, the new research supercomputer will provide data scientists at NEC with access to the largest AI-focused development environment in the industry in Japan and assist in the rapid development of advanced AI.

The AI research supercomputer relies on the DDN EXAScaler® parallel file system, which has been used in HPC environments around the world for more than 20 years, and more recently to support emerging large-scale AI use cases. The storage environment consists of multiple DDN ES400NVX EXAScaler appliances with a total capacity of 16 PB, providing 400 GB/sec read and 320 GB/sec write IO performance, and around 24 million IOPS. The AI research supercomputer’s hardware system is configured with NVIDIA’s A100 80GB Tensor Core GPU for processing and NVIDIA Spectrum SN3700 switches for networking, which are tightly integrated with the DDN solutions.

“NEC has been developing various advanced AI technologies such as biometric authentication, image recognition, video analysis, and data analytics. Therefore, we handle a wide variety of large-scale data, including images, video, audio, and text,” said Mr. Takatoshi Kitano, senior AI platform architect, Digital Technology Development Laboratory, NEC Corporation. “After a year of technical verification and operation, we decided to adopt DDN’s high-performance storage, which can handle a wide variety of I/O workloads. Another deciding factor in our decision was DDN Japan’s excellent technical development and maintenance capabilities. We expect both companies to collaborate on the development of the AI supercomputer and take on the challenge of creating new social value in the future.”

In AI, the “data pre-processing” phase—from data ingestion to data transfer to training—is the most critical phase for a storage environment. DDN’s EXAScaler appliances not only provide high-performance storage for a variety of workloads but also offer the security and management features that are essential for enterprises’ AI workloads. DDN’s EXAScaler storage system provides GPU Direct Storage integration, the CSI driver necessary for storage access through Kubernetes, and multi-tenancy—standard features that enable secure and simplified management without compromising on performance improvements when utilized in a leading-edge deep learning environment.

“Data has become a strategic tool to address a wide variety of business opportunities,” said Robert Triendl, general manager of DDN Japan. “We are excited by this opportunity to supply NEC with an efficient solution to help drive their data-centric AI initiatives.”

DDN’s data storage solutions will fully support the new AI research supercomputer to realize NEC’s objective of “AI research and development to accelerate the digital transformation of society.” The NEC supercomputer for AI research has already entered production and is expected to reach its planned capacity in March 2023.

About DDN

DDN is the world’s largest private data storage company and the leading provider of intelligent technology and infrastructure solutions for Enterprise At Scale, AI and analytics, HPC, government, and academia customers. Through its DDN and Tintri® divisions, the company delivers AI, Data Management software and hardware solutions, and unified analytics frameworks to solve complex business challenges for data-intensive, global organizations. DDN provides its enterprise customers with the most flexible, efficient and reliable data storage solutions for on-premises and multi-cloud environments at any scale. Over the last two decades, DDN has established itself as the data management provider of choice for over 11,000 enterprises, government, and public-sector customers, including many of the world’s leading financial services firms, life science organizations, manufacturing and energy companies, research facilities, and web and cloud service providers.


Walt & Company, on behalf of DDN
Sharon Sumrit

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