NetApp recently announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has selected the company to provide the storage platforms for its Sequoia supercomputer.
This system will be deployed in 2012 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California, and is expected to be one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, managing large computer workloads where real-time analytics, scalable performance, and secure storage are essential.
LLNL is a DoE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) laboratory aimed at ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s aging nuclear deterrent without underground testing.
Sequoia will be predominantly utilised for a range of scientific and engineering applications that require advanced and innovative high-performance computing capabilities such as LLNL’s nuclear security mission, as well as other national security challenges.
Sequoia supercomputers are expected to be twice as fast as today’s most powerful system and will have a peak speed of twenty thousand trillion arithmetic operations per second. As a point of comparison, if every one of the 6.7 billion people on earth had a hand calculator and worked together on a calculation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it would take 320 years to accomplish what Sequoia will be able to do in one hour.
Michel McCoy, program director of LLNL’s Advanced Simulation and Computing program, says; “Sequoia’s supercomputing capabilities will provide LLNL with the ability to assess the accuracy of various nuclear weapons simulations. The simulations are fundamental to ensuring the viability of the nation’s nuclear weapons program without having to actively test them and also provide valuable insight into the underpinning science.”
To store and manage all of this critical data, 55PB of NetApp E-Series storage platforms will be used to provide over 1TB/sec to the Lustre file system.
Addison Snell, CEO of Intersect360 Research says; “The Sequoia system will enable LLNL to open up new doors for scientific discovery and exploration. The NetApp E-Series storage platform will play a vital role in Sequoia’s ability to process, manage, and store the immense amount of data and information required for its various workloads.”