December 02, 2008 08:00 ET

Lawrence Livermore Lab Ignites Fusion Research With 3PAR

National Ignition Facility Chooses Utility Storage to Speed Alternative Energy Research and Save 60% on Storage

FREMONT, CA--(Marketwire - December 2, 2008) - 3PAR® (NYSE: PAR), the leading global provider of utility storage, announced today that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has deployed 3PAR Utility Storage at its National Ignition Facility (NIF) to support fusion research. The next-generation 3PAR Utility Storage systems at the LLNL-NIF have already saved the program 60% on raw storage capacity purchases and have given LLNL-NIF improved scalability, increased application performance, and 99.999% availability. By choosing 3PAR over traditional storage, LLNL-NIF was able to purchase only the amount of capacity they actually needed rather than the 150% in surplus capacity typically required with traditional arrays. The cost savings achieved through reducing total capacity purchased by 200 terabytes as compared to traditional storage, combined with improving administrative efficiency by 80%, have freed up budgetary and human resources to be channeled into speeding seminal alternative energy research.

As energy demands have grown, the US Department of Energy has increased investment in cutting-edge research to develop sustainable energy sources such as fusion. The LLNL-NIF is home to the world's largest laser, which was designed to recreate the same fusion energy process that makes the stars shine and provides the life-giving energy of the sun. With the growing importance of alternative energy to the economy, environment, and global political climate, the NIF could not afford to be locked into inflexible and poorly performing storage technologies to support their fusion research program. In building out a storage infrastructure, the NIF sought storage that would not only reduce up-front costs, but also streamline storage administration, increase application performance, improve availability, and ensure superior scalability moving forward.

After evaluating products from traditional Storage Area Network (SAN) vendors, the NIF selected two 3PAR InServ® Storage Servers, each with over 100 terabytes of thin provisioned capacity. Unlike the NIF's previous storage environment -- which did not meet the research program's performance, uptime, and availability requirements -- the 3PAR InServ arrays with 3PAR Thin Provisioning software enabled the NIF to purchase and deploy 60% less capacity as compared to storage products from traditional vendors. At the same time, capacity reductions made possible by the InServ have collapsed the NIF's storage footprint by 4-to-1 for additional savings related to facilities costs and the energy required to power and cool their datacenter. With 3PAR, the NIF has also increased their availability and uptime to 99.999%, increased performance levels for mission-critical applications, decreased service fulfillment from days to hours, and decreased the time to provision storage from hours to minutes.

"Agility is mission-critical to our fusion research program," said Travis Martin, IT Operations Lead, LLNL-NIF. "With 3PAR Utility Storage we can support the growing performance and capacity needs of our research as we work to change our world through harnessing the energy of the stars."

The 60% reduction in storage capacity and 80% increase in administrative efficiency achieved by the NIF were made possible through innovative 3PAR hardware and software such as 3PAR Thin Provisioning, software that permits the one-time allocation of virtual capacity while consuming physical capacity only for written data. With the NIF's previous storage environment, capacity had to be purchased and allocated up-front, before it was actually required for written data, which led to underutilization and wasted capacity. The autonomic, "set it and forget it" approach of 3PAR Thin Provisioning has also dramatically reduced storage and system administration for the NIF, which has used 3PAR to eliminate imprecise capacity planning. The NIF now provisions storage in a fraction of the time required by their previous environment. As a result of this efficiency gain, the NIF has become significantly more agile in response to the rapidly changing demands of the country's energy research program.

The InServ's native tiered-storage support has also allowed the NIF to reduce capacity and administration by consolidating applications with varying service level requirements onto the same array. Instead of maintaining different arrays for various storage service levels, the NIF has been able to mix premium Fibre Channel and lower-cost Enterprise-class Serial ATA (SATA), or "Nearline," drives within the same array. In addition, the NIF has used 3PAR Fast RAID 5 to achieve performance which approaches that of RAID 1, but with 33% less capacity and one-third the number of disks that must be housed, cooled, and managed. With 3PAR Utility Storage, the NIF only requires one storage administrator to oversee their entire storage environment.

"It can be argued that it is absolutely critical to the future of our country and our planet that we pursue the development of sustainable, alternative energy sources," said Jeffrey Hill, Senior Research Analyst, Data Management and Storage Practice at Aberdeen. "For this reason, research programs in this high-growth field are looking for innovative ways to accelerate development and effectively scale unpredictable and changing data storage requirements more cost-effectively. Next-generation utility storage from 3PAR is ideally suited to meet these needs."

"As vigorous proponents of sustainability, energy efficiency, and green storage technologies, we are very pleased that the NIF has chosen 3PAR Utility Storage to accelerate their research into harnessing the power of the stars to reduce our fossil fuel dependence here on Earth," said David Scott, President and CEO of 3PAR.

About 3PAR

3PAR® (NYSE: PAR) is the leading global provider of utility storage, a category of highly virtualized, tightly clustered, and dynamically tiered storage arrays built for utility computing. Organizations use utility computing to build cost-effective virtualized IT infrastructures for flexible workload consolidation. 3PAR Utility Storage gives customers an alternative to traditional arrays by delivering resilient infrastructure with increased agility at a lower total cost to meet their rapidly changing business needs. As a pioneer of thin provisioning -- a green technology developed to address storage underutilization and inefficiencies -- 3PAR offers products designed to minimize power consumption and promote environmental responsibility. With 3PAR, customers have reduced the costs of allocated storage capacity, administration, and SAN infrastructure while increasing adaptability and resiliency. 3PAR Utility Storage is built to meet the demands of open systems consolidation, integrated data lifecycle management, and performance-intensive applications. For more information, visit the 3PAR Website at:

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