E9000 Server Boosts Scientific Research
By Gao Fan, Marketing Manager of Servers, Huawei IT Product Line
Deltares, located in Delft, The Netherlands, is a global leader in applied hydrology that carries out advanced research on issues involving surface, subsurface, and water infrastructure resources. With about 55% of the Netherlands population living and working on land below sea level or less than one meter above sea level, business activities, agricultural operations, and property face a constant threat of flooding. To help mitigate the risks from flood and drought alike, the Netherlands government has implemented a highly developed water resource management system to improve flood control. Deltares is one of several institutes with strong water science research capabilities established by the government, and its presence now extends to more than 80 countries and regions around the world.
Computation, Simulation, and Knowledge Sharing
Deltares makes heavy use of application programs that combine theory with practice to facilitate research, computing, and testing operations for a wide range of research projects, including:
• Modeling sand dispersal with use of sand engines and the effect on beach usability from weather conditions at the Ter Heijde village of South Holland — Simulation and analysis.
• The extension of Rotterdam Harbor, The Netherlands — Hydro and morph dynamics, Eco-engineering modeling and planning.
• Emergency response advice for the Vlake Tunnel, South Beveland, The Netherlands — Damage control simulations.
• Reconstruction for the Nakdong and Geum Rivers in South Korea — Environmental planning.
• Palm Island, United Arab Emirates — Modeling and change analysis for a man-made peninsula.
For scientific research and business operations, Deltares has developed many of its own proprietary software and program suites, including Dleft3D Suite, MAMPEC, and SHIPMA for simulating hydrological, ship motion, and environmental planning scenarios, as well as simulation games for training purposes.
This ability to closely combine software, IT resources, and equipment to obtain precise test data and experimental results contributes largely to Deltares’ success. However, the software imposes very demanding requirements for computing and storage capabilities. Each employee requires an average of two petabytes of data storage, far greater than the average needed by any other enterprise or institution engaged in water resource consulting. In the past, Deltares had used standard Windows desktops or Linux workstations to implement compute-intensive simulations. However, the heavy workload from the proprietary application programs continued to stress the computing and storage performance of their existing IT resources. The IT infrastructure was no longer able to keep up with business needs.
In addition, Deltares has employees, scholars, and work partners geographically dispersed across the Netherlands, the US, Singapore, South America, and several other regions. Remote office applications, particularly those for knowledge sharing, play a significant role in daily operations.
Enter the Huawei E9000
To renovate the legacy architecture, the IT team at Deltares worked with TenICT, a system integrator in the Netherlands. The team found that three key elements are required to boost research capabilities and improve IT system experience at Deltares:
• Accelerating access to high-performance computing resources.
• Providing a knowledge management solution to converge internal data.
• Decoupling users from devices to enable them to work on the move and at home.
After a lengthy bidding process, Deltares and TenICT selected Huawei’s E9000 Converged Infrastructure Blade Server for the IT system.
Huawei’s holistic solution integrates E9000 blade servers and S5600T storage devices. Huawei deployed an E9000 blade server and S5600T storage device at each site for a total of 15 computing nodes that support 60 high-performance Virtual Machines (VMs). Each VM has a quad-core CPU, 64 GB memory, and 310 GB storage space, as well as 1,500 Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS) read and 6,000 IOPS write capabilities. The VMs also use 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fiber Channel, and InfiniBand interfaces for flexible expansion.
Huawei’s E9000 server provides 30 high-performance, large-capacity CH121 blades as active and standby computing nodes at different sites to meet the computing density, performance, and knowledge-sharing requirements at Deltares.
• High computing performance, improving scientific research efficiency: The E9000 server uses high-performance CH121 blades with Intel Xeon E5-2670 eight-core CPUs to provide a 3 TB memory capacity and 16.2 Tera Floating-Point Operations per Second (TFLOPS) for a single rack. These performance metrics enable Deltares to collect, store, and process data from hundreds of scientific projects and thousands of meteorological and hydrological sensors.
• Converged and scalable architecture, supporting open and realtime knowledge sharing: The E9000 server delivers an innovative, converged “computing + storage + network” architecture that maximizes resource virtualization and isolates the physical planes. The E9000 server provides diverse, flexible, and scalable interfaces for interoperating with Deltares’ open interfaces. With the E9000 server, data analysis results and knowledge can be shared among branch organizations easily and in real time.
Productivity, Performance, and Efficiency
According to system test results after deployment, the computing performance of the E9000 exceeded customer expectations by 400%. In addition, Deltares has dramatically improved scientific research efficiency and productivity while reducing TCO and O&M costs. What’s more, a single site, which consists of one 12U E9000 blade server and one S5600T storage device with a 4U controller, is only 22U in size, increasing computing density many times over in a smaller footprint.
The solution delivers high flexibility, enabling employees to work at any location and with any device — including personal devices. Complete data storage improves computing accuracy and precision, which is essential to simulation, planning, analytics, and flood prevention.
“Huawei delivered the most robust computing capabilities, on time, and on budget,” explained Gert-Jan Schotmeijer, IT Director for Deltares. “Huawei’s product development and design are cutting-edge for the times. The E9000 server features simplified management and provided improvements for our return on investment. We are genuinely impressed.”
Voice of the Customer
“Huawei delivered the most robust computing capabilities, on time, and on budget. Huawei’s product development and design are cuttingedge for the times. The E9000 server features simplified management and provided improvements for our return on investment. We are genuinely impressed.”
– Gert-Jan Schotmeijer, IT Director for Deltares