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San Diego Supercomputer Center Triples Blue Gene Power While Achieving Record Storage Capacity Based on Newly Introduced IBM Technology


IBM Solution Increases SDSC’s Storage Capacity by More Than 350% While Blue Gene Performance Surges to Over 17 Teraflops

ARMONK, NY - 08 Feb 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the company will work with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego on a substantial upgrade to the center’s technical capabilities. SDSC has tripled its total Blue Gene computing power to 17 teraflops and is one of the first organizations in the world to incorporate a powerful new IBM tape storage solution that is expected to give SDSC access to more storage capacity than any other educational institution globally.

SDSC is implementing the new IBM System Storage 3599 Tape Media, which is the first tape media to feature 700 GB physical native capacity, by far the largest linear physical capacity available in the market, and a 40 percent increase over the previous model.

SDSC is incorporating IBM’s System Storage 3599 Tape Media in its infrastructure to expand its six storage libraries, each of which house approximately 6,000 tapes. The new 700 gigabyte tape media and IBM TS1120 high performance tape drives will allow SDSC to boost its tape storage capacity to 25 petabytes, or 25 million billion bytes, a substantial upgrade of more than 350% from SDSC’s previous storage capacity of seven petabytes. SDSC’s increased storage capacity will serve more than 10,000 researchers at 300 academic, government and industrial institutions in the United States and around the world.

“As a national center, SDSC supports a host of state, federal, research, medical and educational organizations, so it’s critical that SDSC develops an infrastructure that can handle the escalating storage capacity requirements of these organizations,” said Richard Moore, director of Production Systems at SDSC. “With the IBM solution we have a broad and flexible array of integrated technologies to support increasingly challenging, large-scale and collaborative scientific endeavors.”

SDSC is dealing with an increasing flood of data, due to the intense scale and bandwidth of the applications it is running as well as expansions into hosting digital collections and experimental data. In addition to the new IBM tape media, SDSC currently operates powerful high-end computing resources including the upgraded Blue Gene Data system as well as DataStar, a 15.6 teraflop IBM POWER-based supercomputer. Both are ranked among the top supercomputers in the world and are used for large-scale, data-intensive scientific research applications.

SDSC also serves as the site lead in the National Science Foundation funded TeraGrid, a multi-year effort to build and deploy the world’s first large-scale, production grid infrastructure for open scientific research. SDSC hosts a 4.4-teraflop IA 64 Linux cluster, 2.4 petabytes of online disk storage, 25 petabytes of archival storage, 220 terabytes of General Parallel File System mounted across the TeraGrid, and is connected to the other national TeraGrid partners by a 10-Gbps cross-country backbone.

“IBM is committed to meeting the vast storage needs of clients with supercomputing infrastructures, such as SDSC,” said IBM’s Cindy Grossman, vice president, tape storage systems. “IBM continues to demonstrate huge strides in tape storage, which is why no other vendor comes close to matching IBM in its full range of tape offerings, which include the storage industry’s leading tape virtualization and tape encryption products, as well as tape media with the largest linear physical capacity.”

About IBM System Blue Gene Solution:

Since IBM announced the commercial availability of the IBM System Blue Gene Solution, a commercial version of the research project, in November 2004, a record number of 28 Blue Gene systems appear on the TOP500 list of supercomputers. Based on IBM’s Power Architecture, the IBM System Blue Gene Solution is optimized for bandwidth, scalability and the ability to handle large amounts of data while consuming a fraction of the power and floor space required by today’s fastest systems. IBM and its teammates are exploring a growing list of high performance computing (HPC) applications including life sciences, financial modeling, hydrodynamics, quantum chemistry, molecular dynamics, astronomy and space research and climate modeling for Blue Gene solutions.

For more information on IBM System Storage and the new 3599 Tape Media, visit


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