December 02, 2005
Silicon Graphics has announced that the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. has purchased SGI visualization and SGI InfiniteStorage solutions to help visualize, store and share data for applications such as immersive real-time visualization of satellite imagery, computational fluid dynamics, ocean and weather modeling, and space physics.
"NRL is the premier scientific research laboratory within the Department of Defense supporting scientists from various disciplines such as chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, biochemistry, space physics, and many others," said Thomas Stanley, director of defense and intelligence, SGI Federal. "The lab needed a visualization solution that was powerful enough and versatile enough to accommodate many different types of scientific applications. The Silicon Graphics Prism system is designed from the ground up to solve the most challenging visualization problems facing scientists and engineers."
One of the missions of the visualization laboratory at NRL is the development of new techniques, algorithms, and methodologies to cope with the very large datasets that are being created by the scientific community that NRL serves. In particular, the area of computational fluid dynamics and GIS image analysis research have yielded terabytes of data that researchers at NRL extract and analyze for important flow features buried within these huge datasets.
Using a Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system and SGI InfiniteStorage technology, NRL has created a DoD-wide resource for researchers to visualize their complex data, store it and share it among multidisciplinary teams. This resource makes possible the kinds of scientific discoveries required to advance a broad range of scientific research, technology and development directed toward maritime applications for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
"We have a host of real-world scientific visualization problems that are benefiting from this visualization-storage solution from SGI," said Dr. Hank Dardy, chief scientist for advanced computing at NRL's Center for Computational Science. "Built on the SGI NUMAflex shared-memory architecture, our Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system has the large, complex data memory functionality we needed for our real-time technical environments. In addition, with an SGI storage area network coupled with the CXFS shared filesystem, we can read and write data directly over the SAN to and from disk, eliminating duplication and bottlenecks for our data-intensive applications."
Earlier this year NRL purchased a 128-processor Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system, powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors and running the Linux operating environment. To store huge volumes of data, the lab installed 56 TB of SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700 Fibre Channel RAID array, the industry's first Fibre Channel storage array equipped with 4 Gb per second interfaces, whose disk space is shared as an SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS clustered filesystem. According to SGI, by eliminating network data overhead, latencies and copies, CXFS enables the typical data-intensive workflow to complete 20 to 80 percent faster, while reducing the administration overhead, speeding backups and reducing disk needed.
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