HPCNow! and Lenovo DSS-G boost Institute of Physics of Cantabria storage capacity 

The Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA), a mixed center of The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Cantabria (UC), conducts comprehensive research across multiple fields of physics like Particle Physics, statistical and nonlinear physics, astrophysics and computational. With a strong focus on theoretical and experimental studies, the institute is dedicated to advancing the global understanding of fundamental physical processes and phenomena.

IFCA conducted a public tender to address its data storage needs for simulations, observations, and calculations. Ultimately, the organization chose Lenovo to improve performance, energy efficiency, reliability and management.

Lenovo delivered its cutting-edge Distributed Storage Solution for IBM Spectrum Scale (DSS-G) that seamlessly integrates hardware with IBM’s advanced clustered file system. Lenovo also partnered with HPCNow! for expert installation support to ensure a smooth transition.

The challenge

HPCNow! was tasked with remotely installing the DSS-G, commencing with configuring a Lenovo Confluent Express system to facilitate the deployment and management of Lenovo DSS-G. This system makes it easier to set up more servers needed for GPFS/Spectrum Scale. It also expedites deployment and ensures all configurations remain consistent by handling network connections and running scripts to set up storage and streamline operations for faster performance.

During this initial phase of the installation, HPCNow! conducted regular checks on IFCA’s cabling system to ensure that each server was correctly linked to the network and storage devices. Correct cabling is key for Lenovo DSS-G deployment as the solution requires specific cable setups to ensure top-notch performance, reliability and compatibility with hardware components and IBM Spectrum Scale software.

The approach

HPCNow! made sure that the correct cabling was in place by having IFCA personnel on-site to assess and resolve any potential issues. As HPCNow! provided guidance to personnel and technicians, they meticulously verified every connection, ensuring each was securely plugged into the appropriate ports. As a result, any discrepancies were promptly rectified in real-time. HPCNow!’s hands-on approach facilitated troubleshooting and commitment to seamless operations.

Utilizing remote hands services, on-site personnel were also guided through the installation process to ensure compliance with Lenovo’s performance and reliability standards. Continuous communication and collaboration among Lenovo, HPCNow!, and IFCA’s technical team were crucial throughout the deployment, allowing for prompt resolution of challenges and successful implementation. By combining technical expertise, strategic planning and effective communication, Lenovo and HPCNow! delivered a tailored storage solution that met IFCA’s evolving requirements, enhancing research capabilities and scientific innovation.

Impact and results

HPCNow!’s expertise and intervention ensured the solution’s acceptance and effectively met IFCA’s requirements, facilitating:

  • Seamless implementation that minimized downtime and maximized solution benefits.
  • Optimized storage configurations, compliance with performance standards and an additional 2.2 petabytes of data storage for the IFCA, optimizing efficiency and rack space utilization.
  • Enhanced research capabilities and improved efficiency, allowing the IFCA to store and analyze a larger volume of data more efficiently, supporting ongoing research projects and accelerating scientific discovery and innovation in physics.

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