The Oxford Supercomputer systems will carry out 15 trillion calculations per second, with some applications able to generate the equivalent of nearly 600 copies of the Oxford English Dictionary on CD in a single hour. The Pillar Axiom storage system, a network attached storage (NAS) system, handles all of this information as the Supercomputer works through the most complex of mathematical models.
In order to handle the ten-fold increase in computing power and all of the associated increase in data, the storage system has to be flexible and efficient, said Dr. Jon Lockley, centre manager at the Oxford Supercomputing Centre. One day our systems could be trying to crack the make-up of complex proteins, the next it could be predicting climate change in 50 or 100 years. Therefore, the ability to expand and reconfigure the storage easily is vital. The type of data, volume and speed at which the storage system needs to handle the results varies dramatically from project to project.
The Pillar Axiom provides the team at Oxford with what if? predictability modelling within the array, said Paul Sleep, sales director at NexStor. This ensures the team is able to maintain performance should additional tasks be added, bringing more capacity and more storage horsepower online. The Axiom proved its flexibility, showing how easily it could adapt as storage demands changed, as well as its green credentials of energy efficiency and reduced space requirements.
Pillar Data Systems Inc.