TGen establishes secure link to 2nd supercomputer with ‘Obsidian Longbow™’ technology
Obsidian Strategics provides military-grade encryption capability with no loss of performance
PHOENIX, Ariz. — March 26, 2013 — The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is testing a secure connection to its second supercomputer using Obsidian Strategics’ Longbow technology, which features National Security Administration (NSA) approved hardware-based encryption and authentication.
TGen’s new 19-teraflop supercomputer (19 trillion operations per second), located at Phoenix NAP, positions the non-profit institute to conduct future data-rich research, such as its current projects involving Dell Pediatrics Oncology, Stand Up to Cancer, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and TGen’s new Center for Rare Childhood Disorders.
The Obsidian E100 Longbow connection is rated at 10 gigabits per second, and is similar to an Obsidian connection established previously between TGen’s downtown Phoenix headquarters and Arizona State University’s Saguaro II supercomputer (rated at 50 trillion operations per second).
“We are building for the future the type of state-of-the-art digital infrastructure needed to securely handle the tremendous amount of data needed when sequencing, multiple times, the nearly 3 billion letters of DNA code for each patient we see,” said James Lowey, TGen Vice President of Technology. “This technology speeds new information to physicians, so they can provide the best treatments for their patients, potentially saving lives and improving their quality of life.”
Genomic sequencing enables TGen scientists to spell out each patient’s genetic code and identify genes and cellular processes that may be at the root cause of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and many types of cancer.
“Genomic data sets require large amounts of bandwidth. Because of our highly successful track history with Obsidian Strategics, we knew their technology solutions would enable data transfers with our new supercomputer to happen quickly and efficiently,” Lowey said.
Obsidian Longbows enables an InfiniBand-based parallel file system to be rapidly shared between High Performance Computing facilities. Testing of TGen’s new supercomputer link began in January and is expected to continue through May.
Obsidian Chief Visionary Officer Dr. David Southwell explains how Longbows fit into the infrastructure: “TGen's powerful computers and storage systems are bound together using very high-performance, but distance limited, network links. Longbows seamlessly range-extend these links over standard optic fibers, delivering stretched supercomputer performance at great distance, protected by high-grade security.”
Obsidian’s newly appointed President of U.S. operations, Walt Wright, Col. USAF (Ret.), commented: “We are honored to be part of this ongoing collaboration to support the TGen mission. As Longbows were originally a defense network and intelligence-based technology that continues to emerge in various industries, it’s especially gratifying to me to see a true Big-Science success story right here in the Valley, our new home for distribution and operations.”
Nelson Kick, TGen’s Senior High Performance Computing Engineer, said Obsidian technology achieves 98 percent of theoretical available bandwidth even when the integrated state-of-the-art cryptography hardware is enabled.
“Even using encryption, we can move nearly 10 gigabits per second over the Longbow connection,” Kick said. “That is essentially the same rate as unencrypted data, meaning that added security has no impact on performance.”
About Obsidian Strategics
Obsidian Strategics™ is the developer of Longbow™, a series of InfiniBand products featuring range extension, routing and encryption. Longbow technology allows an InfiniBand fabric, normally a short-range network used in high-performance computing, to be extended via optical fiber over varying distances. Longbow connects across Campus, Metro or Global networks to enable unparalleled real-time backup over long-distance, high-bandwidth video transmission and efficient movement of large data sets to compute and storage resources. www.obsidianstrategics.com.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.