Opportunity

Diamond Light Source needed a high-speed data buffer to store data locally that was coming off its beamlines.

Results

  • High performance
  • Easy to scale
  • Easy to manage
  • Cost effective

Products & Solutions

Diamond Light Source

The UK’s National Synchrotron facility turns to Netapp Flash Storage for a high-speed data buffer

Located on the site of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light, from infrared to X-rays, to explore the fundamental nature of matter. These powerful blasts of light enable scientists to study the atomic makeup of materials. For instance, the “beamlines” allow researchers to examine the finest details of a protein’s structure, examine electrons as they move on the surface of a magnetic storage disk, and more.

Given the nature of its work, computing at Diamond is by necessity extremely processor and storage intensive in order to analyze and store data from the beamlines. To achieve the required computing capacity, Diamond provides a general-purpose compute cluster of approximately 1,900 compute cores and 250,000 GPU cores, which is also used for automated fast data processing on beamlines.

Dave Bond, computer systems administrator at Diamond, says, “We had a need for high-speed IOPS for a buffer system that could handle the amount of data coming off the beamlines. In short, we wanted something that would provide a cache between our fast detectors on the beamline and our central storage.”

Diamond was already using a NetApp® FAS system for scalable storage for unstructured scientific data and its virtual environment. Although this was answering a different storage need, its capability and flexibility led Diamond to explore NetApp technologies, among others, for a high-speed data buffer.

Following a period of market research, Diamond chose two of the NetApp EF540 Flash Arrays with 12x 800GB SSD. This storage technology is designed for performance-driven applications with submillisecond latency requirements. It delivers extreme performance and IT efficiency and has proven reliability. It delivers more than 300,000 IOPS and 6Gbps throughput. It also cuts space utilization, power, and cooling by up to 95% and maximizes uptime with full redundancy and automated failover.

Bond adds, “For us specifically, NetApp EF540 provided the highspeed IOPS we were looking for. It can also be extended easily, so we could reuse the arrays and scale them up if required.”

About this Customer

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located on the site of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light, from infrared to X-rays, to explore the fundamental nature of matter.


About this Partner

Q Associates

Q Associates provides IT Infrastructure and Data Management Services to more than 400 commercial businesses across all major market sectors.

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