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Naval Research Laboratory Selects SGI Systems for Large Data Joint Capability Technology Demonstration


NRL to Help Demonstrate Military Utility of Effectively Retrieving, Storing and Sharing Massive Amounts of Information Globally

ORLANDO, Fla. I/ITSEC, Booth 118, (December 7, 2006) — SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) today announced that the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., the premier scientific research lab within the Department of Defense, has selected powerful SGI® Altix® servers and SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions to help demonstrate the military utility of a highly scalable, rapid and secure integrated capability to retrieve, store and share massive amounts of information effectively between global users.

Sponsored by DoD with NRL as the lead agency, the Large Data Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (LD JCTD) will demonstrate remote access, manipulation, and viewing of very large commercial and government data sets (petabytes to exabytes) designed to increase joint warfighter situational awareness. Started in fiscal 2006, LD JCTD is a three-year initiative to demonstrate the integration of technologies and operational concepts to significantly improve the deployed joint warfighters’ situational awareness, enabling the rapid access, integration, and display of very large, fused sets of geospatially and temporally referenced data.

DoD’s joint warfighter community continues to struggle with how to handle increasing volumes of data, keep data synchronized across a global network, reliably migrate data from where it is to where it needs to be, and access data with low latency and inter-nodal coherency for real-time knowledge dominance in the battlespace. LD JCTD is an unprecedented attempt by DoD to address how to effectively move, process, analyze, share, and store this onslaught of data.

“Warfighters need access to the right data at the right time, delivered to the right decision maker. They need to be able to integrate large volumes of geo- and temporally-referenced data very quickly, some of it extremely complex, and to quickly build cohesive, shared sight pictures based on shared data at the tactical through strategic levels,” said Jim Hofmann, LD JCTD Technical Manager, NRL. “The natural desire to store and analyze data and information locally is now giving way to technology, like that from SGI, that enables warfighters to access vast amounts of remote data in real time or near-real time on a global scale.”

One of NRL’s missions is the development of new techniques, algorithms, and methodologies to cope with the very large datasets that are being created by the joint warfighter community. To help support the LD JCTD initiative, NRL has purchased a broad range of SGI® high-performance computing systems, including Linux®-based servers and clusters. The lab has installed the new SGI® Altix® XE line of x86-64 based servers and clusters running dual-core Intel® Xeon® processors, and the powerful and flexible dual-core SGI Altix 450 and 4700 blade servers running the latest Intel® Itanium® 2 processors.

The SGI Altix XE offers superior performance and energy efficiency at a breakthrough price point. The combination of the advanced Intel Dual-Core and Quad-Core Xeon processor architecture delivered in a fully factory integrated cluster solution, backed by SGI’s industry-leading service and support, provides customers like NRL with exceptional value. On the high-end, the SGI Altix 4700 incorporates the shared-memory NUMAflex™ architecture, which simplifies software development, workload management and system administration, supporting up to 512 processors under one instance of Linux and as much as 128TB of globally shared memory. Supporting these powerful Altix 4700 capabilities is the NUMAlink™ interconnect, which leads the industry in bandwidth and latency for superior performance on cluster applications. The SGI Altix 450 mid-range server also incorporates the NUMAlink interconnect and the shared-memory NUMAflex architecture, which simplifies software development, workload management and system administration, supporting up to 76 cores under one instance of Linux and up to 456GB of globally addressable memory.

In order to support LD JCTD’s complex data-intensive environment, NRL has also purchased SGI InfiniteStorage solutions based on technology by DataDirect Networks. Through SGI, DataDirect Networks is providing NRL with about a petabyte of disk capacity. YottaYotta technology will also be used by NRL on the LD JCTD project to extend the benefits of SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions on a global scale. The SGI-YottaYotta solution provides the ability to intelligently share data across thousands of miles, enabling multi-site data collaboration, information sharing, and high availability to globally distributed organizations like DoD.

Defense laboratories like NRL are also increasingly turning to InfiniBand interconnect solutions to dramatically improve performance, efficiency, scalability and overall network reliability. SGI InfiniteStorage disk arrays are specifically designed to meet the demanding needs of high-performance computing environments such as LD JCTD that require InfiniBand, the leading standard for HPC server interconnects. InfiniBand is the only 10Gb per second transport that enables industry standard servers to be clustered together for reliable, available, scaleable and high performance enterprise computing. The InfiniBand solution for the SGI® Altix® family of servers addresses typical bottlenecks and provides technical customers like NRL with a world-class clustering solution for the most demanding workloads.

Other technology partners on NRL’s LD JCTD project include: Archivas, SilverStorm Technologies, and Voltaire.

About JCTD

The LD JCTD was selected by DoD as a JCTD project for fiscal year 2006 from more than 100 proposals submitted by the military services, combatant commanders, defense agencies, and industry. The science and technology community of the military services, combatant commanders, and defense agencies reviewed the list of proposals for technical soundness and the potential for operational utility. DoD then selected proposals for funding based on rankings by the combatant commanders and services.

The goal of DoD’s JCTD projects is to rapidly move advanced technology into the hands of warfighters in the field. These projects achieve this by marrying new operational concepts with maturing technologies in a joint environment. Consequently, JCTDs reduce the time required to field new capabilities and increase warfighter involvement in developing solutions.

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© 2006 SGI. All rights reserved. SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks, and NUMAflex, NUMAlink are trademarks of SGI in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. Intel, Itanium, and Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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