NAS failure was not an option for Pattern Energy, when the company began looking for a NAS solution for a mission-critical weather forecasting and analysis system.
“Our business is based on a technology that produces a large amount of data, requiring constant uptime in order to monitor and produce energy estimates,” Chad Ringley, manager of atmospheric modeling at Pattern Energy, said in a Red Hat case study.
Pattern, which operates wind, solar and transmission assets in North America, required a NAS system that “would provide the best uptime and the fastest speed and reliability” for its high-performance computing (HPC) platform that analyzes wind history at locations around the globe and forecasts weather patterns three to five days in advance, Ringley said. The system they were building would help Pattern company gauge power output in specific areas and identify new business opportunities.
The company went with a Red Hat Storage Software Appliance at the urging of its Hewlett-Packard (News - Alert) channel partner, and Ringley said the company couldn’t be happier with its NAS selection.
“Overall Red Hat Storage is providing us with an extremely stable system with outstanding uptime. It really is amazing how simple it is,” he said. “Red Hat (News - Alert) Storage is crucial to the success of our HPC systems, so having this reliability and uptime has been the greatest benefit.”
The company uses the Red Hat Storage Software Appliance on more than 20 terabytes of storage across three Intel (News - Alert) McKay Creek storage servers connected via 4X DDR InfiniBand to two HP C7000 BladeSystem chassis with 32 total compute nodes, according to the case study.
“With the way we’re using the system now, it’s supporting our day-to-day operations, meeting time constraints, and allowing forecasts to run automated on the system,” noted Ringley. “If the filesystem fails we cannot do that.”
The HPC system has helped Pattern Energy produce multiple lucrative business opportunities and allowed the company to more precisely predict the presence of natural resources and better manage its energy-producing assets, according to the case study.
Wind history at different locations on the globe is analyzed with the system to get a sense of regional power output capabilities and to determine where optimal locations exist for the development of wind farms. The Red Had Storage Software Appliance helped provide maintenance crews with a deeper insight into the weather so they could plan preventative maintenance better.
The system also helped the company save money by conducting weather pattern predictions and other solar research in-house instead of going with a third-party research firm. Prior to the system, studies would cost the company between $15,000 and $25,000 each, whereas now the company does hundred on its own at a fraction of the cost, according to the study.
“The cost savings we are experiencing with our HPC system are huge,” Ringley said. “If we are able to generate one business opportunity that we otherwise wouldn’t have had without the system, it pays for that initial upfront cost and our ongoing costs tenfold.”
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Edited by Braden Becker