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Japan's KEK Research Turns to IBM to Develop Powerful Central Computer System


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ARMONK, N.Y., - 28 Sep 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has reached an agreement with the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization of Japan to develop for the group the "KEK Central Computer System," a server and storage solution that will be used to further advance man's understanding of the universe.

Researchers will use the system to analyze data generated from experiments in elementary particle and atomic nuclear research, as well as data from synchrotron radiation, neutron and muon research. The system will also be used for theoretical calculations to develop new accelerators. It is expected to start operation in February 2012.

Up to now, data gathered through experiments at the organization's high intensity proton accelerator facility, "J-PARC," and also at its collider accelerator, "KEKB," were analyzed using separate systems installed at the respective facilities. With the new KEK Central Computer System, all the data analytics systems will be integrated.

The KEK Central Computer System will consist of more than 370 highly scalable IBM iDataPlex® systems that are capable of high-speed processing while consuming little power and taking up little space. The organization currently manages several petabytes of experiment data, but it estimates that the amount will likely balloon to more than 10 petabytes in the near future.

As a solution to this problem, IBM will develop a tiered storage environment that consists of the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS™), which provides high-speed processing, and the High Performance Storage System (HPSS), a highly scalable and hierarchical storage management system that provides data migration capabilities to tape. The GPFS disk system will provide up to 7 petabytes of data capacity, while the HPSS system will provide up to 16 petabytes of effective data capacity to accommodate future data increases.

As part of the organization's energy-saving measures, the KEK Central Computer System is expected to contribute to a "visualization of energy." Specifically, IBM will build a framework that combines its IBM Systems Director® system management software and the IBM Active Energy Manager™ to enable the organization to set energy consumption limits via threshold values and monitor that consumption.

In addition to the scientific work, the new IBM system and storage solution will ultimately be used by domestic and international collaborative research institutions to share resources and data.

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