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Supercomputer-class Storage System Helps Avoid Nuclear Test Blasts


SGI InfiniteStorage Helps Sandia National Labs Ensure Safety of U.S. Nuclear Stockpile Without the Need for Underground Detonations

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — The stewards of America’s nuclear stockpile have selected storage systems from Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (NASDAQ: SGIC) to keep pace with growing data volumes and to get to that information quickly and efficiently.

Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M., recently installed an SGI® InfiniteStorage 4600 solution capable of housing more than 1.8 Petabytes (or 1.8 million Gigabytes) of scientific data. The system provides the extreme data throughput required for high-speed, distributed access to data, a must-have capability in supercomputing environments where the amount of data —and the power needed to process it — is rapidly increasing.

Sandia scientists evaluate the safety and operational effectiveness of thousands of nuclear warheads using advanced techniques to model the entire lifecycle of a nuclear weapon. These large-scale simulations allow scientists to understand the lifecycle of nuclear stockpiles without resorting to underground detonations. The simulations put enormous demands on the storage environment at Sandia, a facility of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Energy Administration.

The Sandia storage environment is comprised of 17 InfiniteStorage 4600 systems, based on the seventh-generation LSI™ XBB2 architecture, and is designed to reach a sustained data exchange rate of 72 Gigabytes per second. This, combined with the system’s high reliability features, makes the Silicon Graphics storage platform ideal for highly demanding workloads.

Sandia purchased the systems via a contract with Abba Technologies (, a Silicon Graphics solutions integrator based in Albuquerque.


* “Few endeavors in science are more crucial than evaluating the nuclear arsenal for safety, security, and reliability, and that’s the mission of Sandia National Laboratory,” said Kurt Kuckein, RAID product line manager, Silicon Graphics. “Silicon Graphics is proud to work with LSI and Abba Technologies to deliver a high-performance storage solution that will reliably meet Sandia’s needs today, while providing the scalability to meet its evolving needs years from now.”
* “The LSI XBB2 storage system architecture is ideally suited to meet the storage performance demands of Sandia’s nuclear simulations,” said Steve Hochberg, senior director, HPC segment, LSI. “With nearly 400,000 LSI-based storage systems deployed in HPC environments worldwide through our OEM customers, LSI is trusted by market-leading OEMs such as Silicon Graphics to deliver the superior performance and reliability needed to meet their customers’ storage requirements.”

Demonstrations at SCO8:
Silicon Graphics will demonstrate the SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 system in Booth 1009 at the SC08 International Conference, Nov.15-21 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

Additional Product Information:

* SGI InfiniteStorage Solutions for the Sciences: Reducing Time to Insight through Sophisticated Data Management (PDF 4.2M)
* SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 data sheet (PDF 116K)

Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (NASDAQ: SGIC), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI solutions help customers solve their computing challenges whether it’s enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and can be found on the Web at

Note: SGI corporate phone numbers have changed. The new main number for SGI corporate headquarters is 408-524-1980. Effective immediately, all numbers featuring the 650 area code are no longer in service.

SGI, the SGI cube, Altix and the SGI logo are registered trademarks of SGI in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. LSI is a trademark of LSI Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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