Air Force climate center switches to 10-Gbps

The Air Force Combat Climatology Center in Asheville, N.C., is adopting 10-Gpbs switching technology to speed up the movement of data on its new weather data network.

The AFCCC today selected a switching system from Topspin Communications Inc., of Mountain View, Calif., to help the center reduce hardware costs and replace its existing server architecture with a cluster of commodity servers running the RedHat Linux Advanced Workstation 2.1 operating system, according to agency officials.

'In our business of volume data and complex analysis, [I/O] rules," said Keith Schoultz, technical systems lead for the AFCCC. 'Extremely fast I/O performance is critical to our operation. We have to move big chunks of data around all day.'

Topspin will provide the AFCCC with an InfiniBand interconnect that improves performance, Schoultz said. Additionally, the virtual I/O capabilities of the server switch lets AFCCC scale its storage capabilities to meet increasing workload and storage requirements, he added.

The center collects and processes weather data worldwide, and stores the data for an average of 30 years.

The server switch, which will be integrated by prime contractor Intelligent Decisions Inc. of Chantilly, Va., consists of a Topspin 360 Server Switch with Topspin Fibre Channel gateways, ProMicro servers with Topspin InfiniBand Host Channel Adapters, and Texas Memory Systems RamSan 220 solid-state storage, according to Topspin officials. It runs an Oracle9i real application clusters database.

Schoultz declined to discuss the contract amount.

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