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April 06, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas, April 6 -- "Corral," a system for data-intensive computing and storage, is the newest resource to be deployed by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin.
A partnership among TACC, DataDirect Networks (DDN) and Dell Inc., Corral went into friendly-user production on March 31 and is available to researchers and educators at The University of Texas at Austin. The resource will soon become available to a wider group of users, including UT System institutions and National Science Foundation TeraGrid users.
Corral will support database, file system and Web-based access, as well as other network protocols for storage and retrieval of data from local and remote sources. Corral's high-performance parallel file system, based on Lustre, will be accessible from TACC's world-class computational resources, Ranger and Lonestar. The system will also be accessible from Stallion, the world's highest-resolution tiled display, and from Spur, TACC's remote visualization system, enabling mathematical and visual analysis of petabyte-scale datasets. Corral will host Web applications and services for access to data from anywhere on the Internet.
"We support world-class science and engineering research, and we are now working with increasingly diverse applications from other domains," TACC Director Jay Boisseau said. "In both our science research support and in our projects from new communities -- industry, humanities, etc. -- we are seeing a rapidly growing need to be able to host, manage and organize massive data collections, and to support the development and availability of new types of data applications. We're excited to partner with DataDirect Networks and Dell to provide new capabilities for our growing user community."
Paul Bloch, president and co-founder of DDN, said, "DataDirect Networks' storage solutions, such as the S2A9900 ExaScaler system which TACC deployed, are designed for extreme performance, data reliability and scalable capacity, which lend itself to many applications in an HPC datacenter, such as long-term and fast-scratch data storage. We have a strong presence in high performance computing, and are proud to support seven of the top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world. We're honored that TACC has put its trust in us and our research computing storage technologies to support the Corral project."
"Dell has a long-standing commitment of supporting the global research community's efforts to solve major scientific problems with high performance computing," said John Mullen, vice president of Dell education, state and local government. "We are now extending that commitment to affordable, accessible HPC research storage solutions, such as Corral, through our partnership with TACC and DataDirect Networks. Going forward, we will continue to drive standards into the HPC ecosystem, making it simpler for scientists and researchers worldwide to collaborate, share information and address many of society's biggest challenges."
Chris T. Jordan, a senior operating systems specialist in TACC's Advanced Systems Group, said Corral complements TACC's system portfolio, enabling users to gain additional insights from the systems that are already in place. For example, a user can access all of Corral's storage capabilities from HPC systems Ranger or Lonestar, and from TACC's visualization systems, Spur or Stallion, Jordan said.
"We hope that people will use the TACC Visualization Laboratory to visualize data on Corral that may have been generated on Ranger," Jordan said. "Corral provides online storage at the petabyte scale -- it's all online, accessible and high-speed so that researchers can store and use much more data as part of their computation or visualization."
Data collection projects that will use Corral include:
Some of these data collections are as small as five terabytes, while some are as large as 100 terabytes.
"As Corral fills up, we plan to expand it," Jordan said. "It's designed to extend TACC's infrastructure. We now have one unified system that can support all of these applications that can grow to meet future demands."
For questions about Corral, contact Chris T. Jordan, senior operating systems specialist for TACC Advanced Systems Group, at email@example.com.
Source: Texas Advanced Computing Center
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