Mountain View, CALIF. — SGI announced that the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) in Monterey, Calif., has purchased two SGI Origin 3000 series systems utilizing the breakthrough SGI NUMAflex technology.
A 128-processor SGI Origin 3800 machine is slated for delivery in October 2000, and a 512-processor SGI Origin 3800 system will be installed in spring 2001. FNMOC, the Department of Defense’s primary supercomputer processing center for operational numerical weather and ocean prediction, is converting over from Cray C90 technology to the SGI Origin 3000 series based on the highly scalable NUMAflex modular computing architecture.
SGI Origin 3000 series servers utilize the unique SGI NUMAflex modular technology, a “brick”-style system for constructing small to very large systems from a common set of building blocks. The SGI NUMAflex modular system allows users to build the optimum configuration one component at a time and adopt new technologies that map to their specific needs.
The U.S. Navy has mission-critical requirements that can be met only by harnessing the power of supercomputers. FNMOC operates its sophisticated suite of coupled air-ocean models on supercomputers to produce and distribute weather and ocean products that are essential for ensuring the safety of the fleet and vital to the successful prosecution of naval warfare. FNMOC also serves as a crucial source of information for other Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian agencies such as the National Weather Service.
“The 128-processor SGI Origin 2000 server that we currently have is a transition system until we install the 128-processor SGI Origin 3800 machine this October,” said Jeanne Frew, acting technical director for FNMOC. “Because technical applications that we currently run on the SGI Origin 2000 server will run on the SGI Origin 3000 series of systems, the transition between the two supercomputers will be relatively painless.”
FNMOC will utilize the Trusted IRIX of the SGI IRIXÆ 6.5 operating system to run a dual-system configuration consisting of the current 128-processor SGI Origin 2000 server and the 128-processor SGI Origin 3800 server. Together they will operate the center’s classified and unclassified workload and assume initial operations as the Cray C90 replacement by the end of March 2001. The final architecture will also include the 512-processor SGI Origin 3800 system and will be fully operational in fall 2001.
The system architecture incorporates the SGI storage area network (SAN) technology, which provides a very powerful and efficient multiplatform environment for sharing the environmental databases. The multiplatform architecture provides fail-over contingency, surge capacity during increased operational tempo and multilevel security capability.
FNMOC’s mission is to combine the best available environmental science with high-performance computing technology in order to provide accurate, timely weather and oceanographic products, data and services to the operating and support forces of the DoD anywhere, anytime. The center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“FNMOC is one of only a handful of operational numerical weather prediction centers in the world and is widely acclaimed as the world leader in coupled air-ocean modeling,” said Anthony Robbins, president, SGI Federal.
These models treat the coupled air-ocean environment as a totally integrated system from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, placing special emphasis on the air-ocean interface. Resulting products include atmospheric and oceanographic forecasts projected out to a week and beyond. These products are then distributed to regional centers and made available to DoD activities worldwide via dial-up systems and/or Web technology.
By exploiting the supercomputing power of the SGI Origin 3000 series, FNMOC will be able to implement the next generation of coupled air-ocean models and take a big step forward in improving the accuracy of its products and the quality of its customer support.
FNMOC is an echelon three command under the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and the Oceanographer of the Navy. The center maintains close working relationships with its “sister” activities within the Air Force and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
SGI provides a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced graphics solutions that enable customers to understand and conquer their toughest computing problems. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices worldwide, the company is located on the Web at http://www.sgi.com .