Big I/O to Support Climate Change Research and Weather Prediction

Knowledge matters when it comes to humanity’s response to climate change. Global warming and severe weather can threaten lives, especially as impacts worsen over time.  The ability to predict severe weather and anticipate climate change is, therefore, essential to saving many lives and building a future in the changing world. Supercomputers can play a major role in this process because high performance computing systems provide the storage and big data capabilities necessary to support earth system science research efforts.

Many of the largest weather prediction and climate research centers in the world work with Cray.  What people may not know is that Cray is a one the leaders in providing scalable storage solutions for prediction and analysis.  Each operational center usually has large sets of data (terabytes to petabytes) that need to move fast—both in terms of I/O and throughput – and reliably.  And the data volumes are getting larger and larger, creating challenges for storage, archival and sharing.  Climate data sets used for international projects are almost 70 times larger today than they were less than 20 years ago.   We like to refer to it as ‘Big I/O’.

Benefits for Earth System Modeling

Cray’s storage solutions support the most demanding workloads, which in turn, helps forecasters and researchers analyze this data and provide decision support and safety assurance.

One center, for example, is the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), which helps protect the nation’s safety and economic welfare with reliable meteorological observation, analysis, and forecast services. With the help of HPC and the Cray Sonexion storage solution, KMA will be able to lead Korea and the world as a whole into a better understanding of meteorological conditions.  In addition, the international community looks to KMA for its meteorological data and research in weather and climate prediction, climate change, air pollution monitoring, and earthquake and marine meteorology.  Beyond the operational supercomputing and data management infrastructure, through the Cray Center of Excellence for Earth System Modelling and KMA-Cray Earth System Research Center, both organizations take a leadership role in applying HPC and storage IO to earth system modelling.

Another example is one of the world’s premier numerical weather prediction centers, Germany’s National Meteorological Service, the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) who has also turned to Cray for scalable storage solutions. Researchers and scientists at DWD will be able to apply the petascale computing resources of the Cray XC30 system combined with the Cray Sonexion 1600 storage system towards a mission of meeting the meteorological requirements arising from all areas of economy and society in Germany.

Taking Advantage of Cray’s Storage Solution

Cray’s storage solutions power many systems in the Top500 and fully interoperate and support industry-standard Linux clusters of all types –including standard x86 compute clusters.  Included in our complete solution package is the Cray Lustre client for Linux distros and single point of support for the entire storage solution.

Weather prediction centers around the world are using the Cray Sonexion scalable storage solution to analyze data efficiently and effectively to achieve the results they need. These efforts are increasingly necessary as the global climate changes and many government bodies begin to search for ways to adapt to the changing weather conditions. Cray makes these types of results possible by providing leadership in storage technologies, choice to companies with varying needs and the results that scientists require to make real progress.

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