RealTime IT News

Physicists Use MTI Storage in Universe Creation Study

MTI Technology Corp., a leading provider of storage and business solutions for more than two decades, announced it has installed 13 of its Vivant D100 storage area network (SAN) storage solution at the U.S. Department. of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. The Vivant D100s will provide 42 terabytes of storage capacity.

The sales transaction was a joint effort involving MTI's Federal Systems Group and New York regional office, as well as A&T Systems, Inc., serving as the prime contractor to Brookhaven. A&T Systems exclusively holds MTI's enterprise storage products on its GSA Schedule and provides procurement and acquisition guidance in negotiating contracts with the federal government.

The Vivant D100s were installed in the Computing Facility of Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a scientific research facility used by hundreds of physicists from around the world to study what the universe may have looked like in the first few moments after its creation. The Computing Facility handles the computation, storage and network resources required to process and analyze the enormous amounts of data generated by several ongoing RHIC experiments.

The computational resources are provided by a large farm of Intel-based systems running the Linux operating system. There are two types of Linux farms at the Brookhaven Computing Facility, one dedicated to processing raw event data, raw bits and bytes from the detectors -- to create reconstructed event data, tracks, hits, and collisions -- the other dedicated to the analysis of the reconstructed events.

The MTI storage resources are served to the Linux farms through a group of Sun Microsystems NFS servers with 80 terabytes of storage area network (SAN)-based RAID arrays. Most of the storage involves reconstructed data from the Collider, packaged in 1- and 2-gigabyte files.

This data is not backed up, so it is essential that the RAID storage work properly as designed, said Maurice Askinazi, UNIX systems administrator and group leader at the Computing Facility. Our task was to find a reliable, yet affordable disk product that would serve as centralized storage for hundreds of Linux nodes, which use batch software to sift through petabytes of data. Because our existing MTI 3600 was a reliable workhorse for the Computing Facility, we decided to evaluate the D100; it ran without failure and was configurable for the performance we require.

The MTI Vivant D100 is a state-of-the-art multi-terabyte storage solution that brings enterprise-class storage capabilities to departmental, workgroup and storage-intensive specialized applications environments. Its flexible design enables users to connect the unit to a single host or a SAN via dual high-speed Fibre Channel connections. This creates redundant data paths between the host and storage, maximizing performance and availability.