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Powerful New SGI Server and Storage Solutions to Drive Research By Tasmanian Chemists, Environmental Scientists


SGI® Altix® 4700 Server and InfiniteStorage Solutions Allow University of Tasmania to Apply Coupled Cluster Theory to Key Chemistry Problems

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (September 11, 2006) — At the University of Tasmania (UTAS), researchers are accelerating their computational chemistry and climate modeling studies with powerful new Linux® server and storage solutions from SGI (OTC: SGID).

In August, UTAS installed a 128-processor SGI® Altix® 4700 blade server system with 320GB of memory and a 50TB SGI® InfiniteStorage solution. UTAS also implemented the SGI® InfiniteStorage Data Migration Facility (DMF) to streamline data management and availability.

SGI made the announcement today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) 232nd National Meeting & Exposition, running through Sept. 14 at Moscone Center in San Francisco. At the ACS expo, SGI is exhibiting its latest solutions in the SemiChem booth (Booth Nos. 1001, 1003 and 1005).

Installed at the University of Tasmania, the new SGI solutions provide the ideal platform for pursuing work related to two Australian Research Council grants that would have been difficult to attempt otherwise. The SGI solutions offer industry-leading computational capabilities and the flexibility to access and manage massive data sets — two advantages that will prove crucial to UTAS. The new systems will run a variety of scientific applications, including the Gaussian electronic structure calculation application and climate modeling codes. The SGI Altix system also runs SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 9 from Novell®.

With the new SGI solutions, UTAS scientists can accelerate their efforts to solve two extraordinarily difficult problems in chemistry: designing transition metal catalysts to turn nitrogen and carbon monoxide into other useful chemical compounds; and designing specific chemicals to carry out organocatalysis (chemical reaction accelerants made up of organic building blocks) of asymmetric reactions. The work pursued by UTAS may someday have an impact on the preparation of important compounds in areas such as pharmaceutical chemistry and natural product synthesis.

To solve these problems, UTAS now can apply coupled cluster theory, in the variant known as CCSD(T), which is a reliable but data- and CPU-intensive approach to executing calculations.

“CCSD(T) is the most accurate theory available in computational chemistry,” said Dr. Brian Yates, associate professor and head of the School of Chemistry, UTAS. “But CCSD(T) , creates data sets that proved too large for our existing computers. The new SGI resources will give us much more disk space and many more CPUs, and that will allow us to do these CCSD(T) calculations on much larger molecules.”

A longtime SGI customer with previously installed SGI Altix servers, UTAS selected the SGI solutions after close collaboration with SGI Professional Services to ensure that the new configurations would meet the university’s growing research needs. “SGI Professional Services was fantastic,” said Yates. “The SGI team helped us run several test calculations and showed us how to get the most out of the system, to best use Gaussian software, and even helped us to approach the specific problems we are trying to calculate.”

Based on the powerful and scalable Intel® Itanium® 2 processor family, SGI Altix 4700 platform is comprised of modular blades — interchangeable compute, memory, I/O and special purpose blades for “plug and solve”configuration flexibility. The innovative blade-to-NUMAlink™ architecture enables users to mix and match eight standardized blade choices, for perfect system right-sizing. SGI Altix 4700 also incorporates the shared-memory NUMAflex™ architecture, which simplifies software development, workload management and system administration.

The SGI InfiniteStorage solution also helps UTAS address the offering staggering cost and complexity of managing scientific data. “The SGI storage environment is a key advantage for us,” added Yates. “We’ll have access to several Terabytes of disk space for use as a scratch disk, and that alone represents at least a tenfold increase over what we’re currently able to access.”

SGI | The Source of Innovation and Discovery.™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks and NUMAflex, NUMAlink and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. Intel and Itanium 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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