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E9000 Improves Data Analysis & Processing

Introduction

Deltares is the new Dutch institute for Delta Technology. Established on 1 January 2008, Deltares is a new and independent institute for applied research and specialist advice in the field of water, soil and the subsurface. It is front runner in the development, distribution, and application of knowledge for meeting the challenges in the physical planning, design and management of vulnerable deltas, coastal areas, and river basins. 

The Netherlands is a low-lying country. One fourth of its territory is below sea level and another one fourth is at an elevation less than 1 m. About 55% of the country's population lives in flood-prone areas. Hydrological conditions are of vital importance for people's livelihood in the Netherlands. To eliminate the threats of flood and drought, the Netherlands government launched the "Digital Delta" big data project to improve flood control strategies and water resource management in the Netherlands.

Deltares provided the Deltares-Flood Early Warning System (Deltares-FEWS) to predict flood risks. The institute also customizes functional modules for organizations, helping them develop more comprehensive water resource management systems.

Challenges

The "Digital Delta" project studies how to integrate, analyze, and utilize water resource data, bringing the following requirements:

  • Massive data analysis and processing: Raymond Feron, director of the "Digital Delta" project, said that "The database in the Dyke Data Service Center alone processes 2PB sensor data per year." The "Digital Delta" project analyzed over 100 historical water resource management projects. This generates 10 TB to 30 TB structured and non-structured data every year. Deltares required a high-performance system to analyze and process collected data.
  • Real-time information sharing: Deltares-FEWS aims to improve the efficiency of comprehensive water resource management. The system required a unified GUI to monitor water conditions in real time and to share collected information among research institutes and government agencies. A Deltares-FEWS developer said. "We need a GUI to guide incident response. Government agencies can also use the GUI to efficiently distribute resources and manage incident processing." 

Deltares-FEWS's legacy IT architecture could no longer meet service requirements due to the following shortcomings:

  • Limited computing performance: The legacy Deltares-FEWS servers were developed using the traditional closed architecture. These servers could not effectively process PBs of data collected from meteorological and hydrological sensors.
  • Closed architecture: Deltares-FEWS required open interfaces to develop functional modules and to enable smooth system expansion. The legacy infrastructure used a closed architecture, bringing difficulties in resource virtualization. 

 Solution

Deltares required an open, flexible, high-performance IT architecture. After meticulous study on the industry's mainstream servers, Deltares chose Huawei's servers and storage devices to develop its next-generation FEWS.

Huawei leveraged its rich experience to provide a comprehensive server solution to meet the customer's service requirements. Huawei deployed the convergent E9000 server, S5600T storage device, and 15 computing nodes for each station, supporting 60 high-performance virtual machines (VM). Each VM has a four-core CPU, 64 GB memory, 310 GB storage space, and 1500 IOPS reading and 6000 IOPS writing capabilities. These VM use 10GE, FC, IB interfaces to enable flexible access.

Huawei's E9000 server provides 30 sets of CH121 high-performance, large-capacity blades for computing nodes, meeting Deltares-FEWS's requirements on cluster integration, performance, flexibility, and scalability.

The solution boasts the following features:

  • High computing performance, improving Deltares-FEWS's data processing capabilities
    The high-performance E9000 server has high computing performance. Each rack supports a maximum of 16.2 TFLOPS computing capability, allowing Deltares-FEWS to efficiently process historical project data and live data collected from meteorological and hydrological sensors.
  • Convergent, flexible, and highly-scalable architecture, allowing real-time information sharing
    The E9000 server uses the convergent architecture to integrate computing, storage, and network resources. The server provides diverse interfaces to enable seamless integration with Deltares-FEWS, allows customization of functional modules, and features easy configuration. Deltares-FEWS's analysis data is shared between institutes and government agencies in real time using E9000 and relevant storage devices.

Customer Benefits

The solution brings the following customer benefits:

  • Higher computing performance: E9000's convergent architecture enables Deltares to manage its IT resources in a unified manner, significantly optimizing resource distribution.
    The solution improves the efficiency of processing data by over 4 times, meeting the customer's requirements for improving data analysis and processing efficiency which is of vital importance for Deltares' core services, such as modeling, design, and analysis, allowing Deltares to effectively predict flood risks.
  • Open architecture: Deltares aims to develop "A New Way of Work" that will allow employees to connect to the working system at anytime, from anywhere. Huawei's server solution uses virtualization technologies to enable flexible system access and real-time data sharing. This substantially improves Deltares' resource usage and R&D efficiency.
    E9000 supports diverse network access modes, which simplifies system maintenance, improves management efficiency, and lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO). The server uses 12U blades and 4U storage controllers, reducing the system's footprint. (The legacy system requires three racks for each station, while the new system requires only one 22U rack.)

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