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December 08, 2006
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., a DoD scientific research lab, has selected SGI Altix servers and SGI InfiniteStorage solutions to help demonstrate the military utility of a scalable, rapid and secure integrated capability to retrieve, store and share massive amounts of information effectively between global users.
Sponsored by DoD with NRL as the lead agency, the Large Data Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (LD JCTD) will demonstrate remote access, manipulation, and viewing of very large commercial and government data sets (petabytes to exabytes) designed to increase joint warfighter situational awareness. Started in fiscal 2006, LD JCTD is a three-year initiative to demonstrate the integration of technologies and operational concepts to significantly improve the deployed joint warfighters' situational awareness, enabling the rapid access, integration, and display of very large, fused sets of geospatially and temporally referenced data.
DoD's joint warfighter community continues to struggle with how to handle increasing volumes of data, keep data synchronized across a global network, reliably migrate data from where it is to where it needs to be, and access data with low latency and inter-nodal coherency for real-time knowledge dominance in the battlespace. LD JCTD is an unprecedented attempt by DoD to address how to effectively move, process, analyze, share, and store this onslaught of data.
"Warfighters need access to the right data at the right time, delivered to the right decision maker. They need to be able to integrate large volumes of geo- and temporally-referenced data very quickly, some of it extremely complex, and to quickly build cohesive, shared sight pictures based on shared data at the tactical through strategic levels," said Jim Hofmann, LD JCTD Technical Manager, NRL. "The natural desire to store and analyze data and information locally is now giving way to technology, like that from SGI, that enables warfighters to access vast amounts of remote data in real time or near-real time on a global scale."
One of NRL's missions is the development of new techniques, algorithms, and methodologies to cope with the very large datasets that are being created by the joint warfighter community. To help support the LD JCTD initiative, NRL has purchased a broad range of SGI high-performance computing systems, including Linux-based servers and clusters. The lab has installed the new SGI Altix XE line of x86-64 based servers and clusters running dual-core Intel Xeon processors, and the dual-core SGI Altix 450 and 4700 blade servers running the latest Intel Itanium 2 processors.
In order to support LD JCTD's complex data-intensive environment, NRL has also purchased SGI InfiniteStorage solutions based on technology by DataDirect Networks. Through SGI, DataDirect Networks is providing NRL with about a petabyte of disk capacity. YottaYotta technology will also be used by NRL on the LD JCTD project to extend the benefits of SGI InfiniteStorage solutions on a global scale. The SGI-YottaYotta solution provides the ability to share data across thousands of miles, enabling multi-site data collaboration, information sharing, and high availability to globally distributed organizations like the DoD.
Defense laboratories like NRL are also increasingly turning to InfiniBand interconnect solutions to improve performance, efficiency, scalability and overall network reliability. SGI InfiniteStorage disk arrays are specifically designed to meet the demanding needs of high performance computing environments such as LD JCTD that require InfiniBand. The InfiniBand solution for the SGI Altix family of servers is designed to address typical bottlenecks and provides technical customers like NRL with a clustering solution for the demanding workloads.
Other technology partners on NRL's LD JCTD project include: Archivas, SilverStorm Technologies, and Voltaire.
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