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Naval Research Laboratory Leverages SGI Visualization and Storage Solutions to Advance Ocean, Atmospheric and Space Sciences


128-Processor Silicon Graphics Prism and SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700 RAID Array Enable Scientific Breakthroughs

ORLANDO, Fla. I/ITSEC 2005, Booth 101, (Nov. 29, 2005)—Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) today announced that the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. has purchased SGI® visualization and SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions to help visualize, store and share data for critical applications, including immersive real-time visualization of satellite imagery, computational fluid dynamics, ocean and weather modeling, and space physics.

“NRL is the premier scientific research laboratory within the Department of Defense supporting scientists from various disciplines such as chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, biochemistry, space physics, and many others,” said Thomas Stanley, director of defense and intelligence, SGI Federal. “The lab needed a visualization solution that was powerful enough and versatile enough to accommodate many different types of scientific applications. The Silicon Graphics Prism system is designed from the ground up to solve the most challenging visualization problems facing scientists and engineers.”

A complete, advanced visualization system for Linux® and one of the largest Silicon Graphics Prism™ systems in the U.S. powered by 128 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors was specifically designed to help technical professionals like those at NRL address some of the world’s most critical problems. With the Silicon Graphics Prism, SGI has combined standards-based Intel® Itanium® 2 processors and the Linux operating environment with SGI’s world-renowned advanced graphics for unbeatable visual performance and shared-memory architecture.

One of the missions of the visualization laboratory at NRL is the development of new techniques, algorithms, and methodologies to cope with the very large datasets that are being created by the scientific community that NRL serves. In particular, the area of computational fluid dynamics and GIS image analysis research have yielded terabytes of data that researchers at NRL extract and analyze for important flow features buried within these huge datasets.

Using a Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system and SGI® InfiniteStorage technology, NRL has created a DoD-wide resource for researchers to visualize their complex data, store it and share it among multidisciplinary teams. This resource makes possible the kinds of scientific breakthroughs required to advance a broad range of scientific research, technology and advanced development directed toward maritime applications that are vital to conducting U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations in the 21st century.

“We have a host of real-world scientific visualization problems that are benefiting from this visualization-storage solution from SGI,” said Dr. Hank Dardy, chief scientist for advanced computing at NRL’s Center for Computational Science. “Built on the SGI NUMAflex shared-memory architecture, our Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system has the large, complex data memory functionality we needed for our real-time technical environments. In addition, with an SGI storage area network coupled with the CXFS shared filesystem, we can read and write data directly over the SAN to and from disk, eliminating duplication and bottlenecks for our data-intensive applications.”

Earlier this year NRL purchased a 128-processor Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system, powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors and running the Linux® operating environment. To store huge volumes of data, the lab installed 56TB of SGI® InfiniteStorage TP9700 Fibre Channel RAID array, the industry’s first Fibre Channel storage array equipped with 4Gb per second interfaces, whose disk space is shared as an SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS™ clustered filesystem. By eliminating network data overhead, latencies and copies, CXFS enables the typical data-intensive workflow to complete 20 to 80% faster, while reducing the administration overhead, speeding backups and reducing disk needed.

Government research laboratories like NRL are also increasingly turning to InfiniBand interconnect solutions to dramatically improve performance, efficiency, scalability and overall network reliability. SGI recently reconfigured the TP9700 at NRL to utilize new native InfiniBand host connectivity.

SGI InfiniteStorage disk arrays are built on Engenio technology that are specifically designed to meet the demanding needs of high-performance computing environments such as NRL 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 with a world-class clustering solution for their most demanding application workloads.

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI’s vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. 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 CXFS, Silicon Graphics Prism, and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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