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Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Chooses Panasas Parallel Storage to Expand Global Climate Research Capability

Panasas® ActiveStor™ Delivers Affordable Performance in One of Britain’s Largest-Ever HPC Storage Deployments

SUNNYVALE, Calif., and London, England, April 17, 2012 – Panasas, Inc., the leader in high performance parallel storage for technical computing applications and big data workloads, today announced that Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), one of the UK’s principal government labs and part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), has introduced a new high performance computing (HPC) facility, featuring Panasas® ActiveStor™ 11. The advanced parallel storage system will further RAL’s global climate research capabilities as it satisfies the lab’s substantial scalability, performance and cost requirements.

“The Panasas parallel file system remains resilient even at scale, and the direct and parallel access to the storage pool means that we can work on our most complex simulations, unaffected by the system bottlenecks of our previous equipment,” said Professor Bryan Lawrence, Professor of Weather and Climate Computing at the University of Reading, and Director of Models and Data for the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). “The Panasas solution gives us powerful HPC capabilities to help leverage our massive datasets to advance essential scientific discovery.”

“We are especially impressed with how easy ActiveStor is to use and manage,” said Dr. Peter Oliver of the Scientific Computing Technology Group (e-Science Centre). “Despite its obvious sophistication, it requires minimal staff to maintain so that researchers can concentrate on their simulations – not on cumbersome system administration.”

The deployment comprises facilities distributed across four sites, including at RAL, and was funded by the 2011 investment of £145 million in e-infrastructure by the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The massive storage deployment introduces a new shared-resource approach to research for the participating organizations. Almost 8.5 petabytes (PB) of ActiveStor 11 storage is deployed across three NCAS research sites: 6.6PB at RAL, 720 terabytes (TB) at the University of Reading, 180TB at the University of Leeds, and 900TB at a fourth site, the International Space and Innovation Centre (ISIC). The integrated NCAS and ISIC systems represents one of the largest HPC storage deployments in Great Britain.

“European investments in high performance computing started to increase within the last two years, and that growth is expected to continue over the next few years as more nations recognize the strategic importance of HPC,” said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for high performance computing. “The new Rutherford Appleton Laboratory deployment is a great example of multiple institutions working together to make efficient use of new government funding, enabling scientists across the UK and Europe to collaborate in order to improve climate and earth science research. By offering a comprehensive, fully integrated solution that is easy to use and manage, Panasas is increasingly relevant for these types of large-scale deployments.”

“Panasas delivers high performance, highly scalable parallel storage systems that enable researchers at the world’s leading HPC centers to conduct critical, often life-saving work without having to worry about the challenges of deploying and managing these complex systems,” said Faye Pairman, president and CEO at Panasas. “The RAL deployment is particularly impressive due to its sheer size, and we look forward to providing Panasas solutions and technical expertise to the region’s other government laboratories for their big data applications as countries across Europe continue to invest in high performance computing infrastructure.”

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The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) is one of the Natural Environment Research Council's (NERC) research centres. NCAS carries out research programmes on the science of climate change, air quality and atmospheric composition, weather, including hazardous weather and technologies for observing and modelling the atmosphere. Additionally, NCAS provides scientific facilities for researchers across the UK to enable excellent atmospheric science on a national scale. These include a world-leading research aircraft, a ground-based instrumentation pool, access to computer facilities and computer models and facilities for storing and accessing data. NCAS provides the UK academic community and the Natural Environment Research Council with national capability in atmospheric science.

 About Panasas

Panasas, Inc., the leader in high-performance parallel storage for technical computing applications and big data workloads, enables customers to rapidly solve complex computing problems, speed innovation and accelerate new product introduction. All Panasas storage products leverage the patented PanFS™ storage operating system to deliver superior performance, data protection, scalability and manageability. Panasas systems are optimized for demanding storage environments in the bioscience, energy, finance, government, manufacturing, and university markets. For more information, visit

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