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U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF

Using millions of observations collected daily from satellites, ships, aircraft and other sources around the world, the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) in Monterey, California employs sophisticated Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models to predict global weather and ocean conditions. FNMOC is the U.S. Department of Defense’s primary site for creating weather maps for use by the country’s Navy in planning and conducting air and sea missions.

FNMOC’s production process operates on a very tight schedule and consists of thousands of interdependent and time-critical job executions every day. In addition,Naval operators and other U.S. war-?ghters seeking to maintain ‘information superiority’ are constantly demanding more accurate and more detailed weather predictions – and faster.

U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF

To keep up with these demands, FNMOC is continuously implementing more advanced scienti?c techniques, increasingly sophisticated prediction models and improved data distribution technology. To orchestrate the sequencing and execution of the thousands of complex analysis and modeling jobs, and to operate effectively in the highly secure environment that characterizes Naval operations, FNMOC relies on high performance SGI ?Origin ?3000 Series supercomputers running SGI ’s Trusted IRIX? secure operating system, along with efficient and reliable job scheduling and workload management provided by Platform LSF ?software.

Business Challenge

Through a sophisticated mathematical process called “data assimilation”, FNMOC ingests about seven million atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind observations every day from sources around the world,including satellites, stationary and drifting buoys, Navy and merchant ships, aircraft and weather balloons. This information is used by complex numerical analysis and prediction models to predict weather and ocean conditions,and create the maps and products that help the Navy prepare and execute safe and effective missions.

To provide the computing power required for these data- and compute-intensive processes, and to meet the increasing demand to provide more accurate and more detailed predictions faster, FNMOC needed to enhance its existing computer environment to provide higher capacity and reliable performance. In addition to being able to easily scale up to accommodate increasing amounts of data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, the system had to comply with tough Navy security requirements due to the military data involved in FNMOC operations. The new system would also need to manage the complex choreography and sequencing of the thousands of jobs comprising the FNMOC Ops Run each day.

Overview

? To support U.S. Naval operations, FNMOC needed to provide quicker, more accurate and more detailed information and maps predicting weather and ocean conditions.

Challenge

? Implement a new high performance

computing environment that can execute complex weather prediction models, easily scale up to handle larger volumes of data and increasingly sophisticated models, and comply with stringent security requirements.

Solution

U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF

? Platform LSF ?software

? SGI ?

U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF

Origin ?3000 Series supercomputers ? SGI ?Trusted IRIX? operating system

Results

? A complex process involving millions of meteorological and oceanographic observations and thousands of

interdependent analysis and modeling tasks is executed reliably every day;? FNMOC meets stringent military requirements for operating a secure

environment that supports both classi?ed and unclassi?ed jobs and data;

? FNMOC sees Platform and SGI as effective partners working with them to solve unique problems and help them push the envelope on technology performance.

U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF to Execute Complex Weather Prediction Models

“The Platform LSF software is an underpinning technology that plays a fundamental part in how we make our complex operation work day after day. We have very tight time constraints on our

modeling tasks, and LSF helps us ensure it works consistently and reliably.”

Mike Clancy,

Chief Scientist and Deputy Technical Director, FNMOC

Customer Site:

Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC)

With a broad portfolio of products and services supporting tens of thousands of customers worldwide, FNMOC is recognized internationally as one of the world’s premier Numerical Weather Prediction centers. FNMOC operates at the leading edge of science and technology; and is well known for its long and productive track record of implementing, evaluating, operating, maintaining and improving complex NWP models speci?cally to meet the needs of the U.S. Department of Defense.

FNMOC employs about 250 highly skilled military, civilian and contractor personnel in the Monterey area, with experience mainly in the areas of meteorology, oceanography, satellite

U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF

data processing and information technology.

Solution

FNMOC needed a more effective computing platform for its primary Analysis & Modeling Subsystem (AMS) – one

that could easily expand to accommodate more advanced techniques and models continuously being developed by

its supporting R&D organization, the Naval Research Laboratory. They chose to replace a legacy Cray system, which

was using Cray’s NQE job scheduler, with an SGI supercomputing system running Platform LSF software.

The new SGI Origin 3000 Series supercomputing cluster consists of 512-, 256- and 128-processor systems using SGI’s patented

NUMA?ex? technology that uses standard, modular building blocks called “bricks”, which can be added as needed to tailor a

system with the capabilities required by speci?c applications, allowing the system to scale very easily. And because FNMOC uses

classi?ed data from Navy ships, aircraft and other military assets such as weather observers operating covertly in the world’s hot

spots, their systems run SGI’s Trusted IRIX multi-level secure operating system. This enables FNMOC to operate an environment that

supports both classi?ed and unclassi?ed jobs and data, thus complying with stringent military security requirements. To manage the

workload across the cluster, and to ensure that the right amount of processing power is assigned to each task, FNMOC runs Platform

LSF intelligent workload management software.

“We looked at several solutions before choosing Platform LSF,” says Mike Clancy at FNMOC, “but LSF was the best workload

management software that was compatible with SGI’s Trusted IRIX operating system.”

FNMOC also considered an open-source workload management solution, but rejected it when they realized they were looking for

much more than just a ‘product’. They needed a partner that could work closely with them on an ongoing basis to solve problems.

And with the tight time constraints they are under, FNMOC needed fast, reliable support.

Moving forward, a new initiative has been de?ned using Platform LSF MultiCluster software as a tool to enable grid computing. In

particular, FNMOC, along with its Department of Defense (DoD) weather prediction partner, the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA),

will explore the use of grid computing to pool geographically distributed, high performance computing assets into a single, logical

U.S. Navy Relies on SGI and Platform LSF

super-cluster to provide even greater levels of computing power for DoD NWP applications.