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DDN Powers Big Data and Machine Learning at UTC in Tennessee

Last week at SC17, Data Direct Networks announced that The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC) has selected DDN’s GS14KX parallel file system appliance with 1.1PB of storage to replace its aging big data storage system and to support a diversifying range of data-intensive research projects. The Center of Excellence in Applied Computational Science and Engineering (SimCenter) at UTC needed a big data storage solution that could scale easily to support growing research programs focused on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), machine learning, data analytics, smart cities and molecular biology.

The DDN GS14KX is purpose-built to address the comprehensive needs of HPC environments and manage huge data growth, enabling organizations, such as SimCenter, to scale their environments and take advantage of new, data-intensive research disciplines such as machine learning.

The real-time data coming from smart cities is huge; every street will have data sets coming in about everything from small Bluetooth devices to autonomous vehicles,” said Anthony Skjellum, Director of SimCenter at UTC. “The scalability and quality of integration from DDN will allow us to implement a number of smart city test beds connecting into the new storage solution, with machine learning algorithms taking advantage of the near real-time data. We have a torrent of data so the ability to scale up capacity or performance was vital, and DDN was able to provide a clear path for growth.”

The UTC SimCenter is a research incubator with both an inward-facing role to support the growth of innovative research at UTC and an outward-facing role to support and collaborate in making Chattanooga a world-class smart city.

The SimCenter needed to modernize and future-proof its storage to support the expanding research focus and enable researchers to access data quicker, meet the demands of applications with larger I/O bandwidth requirements, and support the collaborative smart city project. With DDN’s highly scalable storage solution, SimCenter is prepared to meet the growing demands of data-intensive applications and research, providing superior performance. As well as providing 8x better density than before, the solution will be filled entirely with self-encrypting hard drives (SEDs), which will enable UTC to access research grants, initiatives and projects that have requirements around encryption.

DDN’s powerful big data storage platform will give us the ability to easily meet the diverse and dynamic demands of our current research programs and enable us to scale performance or capacity as we look to expand our research capabilities,” said Ethan Hereth, High Performance Computing Specialist at UTC. “The integration of DDN’s solution into our existing Dell EMC HPC infrastructure has been fabulous. As well as being larger than our previous storage system, the density is far better. We are only using a quarter of the rack space as before for the same capacity, which we could easily double with DDN by only adding new hard drives.”

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