Over the years, scientific requirements have changed as computational models have grown in size and granularity. Faced with an increased need for more powerful, scalable computing and storage resources to support data-intensive climate modelling and environmental research that was straining its legacy supercomputer platform "Chinook", PNNL engaged in a technology refresh led by supercomputer manufacturer Atipa Technologies, while upgrading to DDN high-performance SFA 12K block storage platform and EXAScaler file storage appliance.
Funded by DOE's Office of Biological & Environmental Research, EMSL provides a High Performance Computing (HPC) capability optimized for molecular-level modelling and simulation through its Molecular Science Computing (MSC) initiative.
More than 300 scientists from academia, industry and government use the MSC capability annually to drive multiple free energy simulations and structural genomics, which are all processed and accessed through its new state-of-the-art supercomputer, "Cascade".
Following a smooth migration to its new Atipa supercomputer and DDN storage system, PNNL's Cascade supercomputer delivers dramatic improvements in compute and storage power, handling up to 3.4 quadrillion calculations per second and 2.7 petabytes of usable storage. With a faster, more efficient storage platform that delivers up to 75 GB/s, users can run simultaneous climate modelling and chemistry computation codes without worry over compute or storage performance bottlenecks.
Now ranked no. 13 on the TOP500 list of the worlds fastest computers, in comparison to its predecessor, Cascade is 20 times faster, delivers 10 times the storage capacity, and more than twice the IO bandwidth. Multiple, large computational chemistry and climate models can be run concurrently with no resource contention, and individual experiments are seeing much faster results, thereby shortening the time to new scientific discoveries.
DDN SFA12K storage empowers researchers to change how research hours are allocated as so much more can be accomplished in less time. Moreover, DDN's robust performance enables peak performance of up to 75 GB/s along with a six-times multiple improvement in cluster performance rates.
DDN's unparalleled density allows users to replace as many as 40 racks of legacy storage with as few as three racks, lowering power, cooling and administrative overhead for significant TCO improvements. With network nodes that are hundreds of times faster than those on older systems, researchers now can go beyond the molecular level to the atomic level while having the flexibility to run a wide variety of different software codes without concern over storage capacity or performance bottlenecks.
Molly Rector, Chief Marketing Officer, DDN, stated: "We're proud to be the storage behind today's groundbreaking research at organisations like EMSL. Many organisations today are struggling to maximize the value of existing storage resources and IT budgets, while balancing high performance requirements in order to keep pace with scientific discovery. With the performance, scale and massive capacity of DDN storage, researchers at these organisations are able to achieve new levels of discovery at lower TCO by scaling their data to include bigger models and larger computation sets."