Sunnyvale, CA — Panasas announced that CD-adapco, the largest privately held computational fluid dynamics (CFD) provider of computer-aided engineering (CAE) software, has deployed more than one petabyte of Panasas ActiveStor storage to support the high-performance demands of CFD simulations. CD-adapco is pioneering an approach called Multidisciplinary Design Exploration (MDX) that uses engineering data from simulation results to improve a product through multiple design iterations. Using software models that mimic the behavior of real-world objects results in higher-quality end products that better fulfill customer expectations.
CD-adapco uses MDX to maximize the real-life performance of products in the aerospace, automotive, energy, life sciences, and oil and gas industries. MDX relies on sophisticated software to drive the simulation through a complete range of operating scenarios, including geometrical configurations and different operating points. This approach helps manufacturers gain a complete understanding of the product’s performance across the whole design space. When combined with HEEDS, CD-adapco’s dedicated optimization software, the MDX approach can be used to calculate the best possible combination of design parameters to maximize the real-life performance of a product.
Legacy NAS was unable to keep up with the input/output (I/O) requirements of the highly data-intensive CFD calculations. CD-adapco needed a storage solution that could improve system performance, minimize administration and maintenance time, and provide high reliability for mission-critical systems. Panasas delivered on all three.
“When we turned on the Panasas system, the bottlenecks disappeared, and we were able to run a complex MDX simulation without impacting other system users,” said Steven Feldman, senior vice president of information technology at CD-adapco. “We deployed Panasas on all mission-critical systems and find that storage and data loss is now something we just don’t worry about. In addition, administration for Panasas storage is almost nonexistent.”
With ActiveStor, performance and data protection increase with scale to accelerate time-to-results and simplify data management for even the most demanding high-performance workloads. ActiveStor is a fully integrated solution consisting of hybrid storage hardware, the proprietary PanFS file system supported by Panasas DirectFlow as well as NFS and SMB protocols, and RAID 6+ triple parity protection.
ActiveStor’s 8 terabyte (TB) drive technology supports scalability to more than 20 petabytes (PB) and 200 gigabytes per second (GB/s) and its flash technology speeds small file and metadata functionality for superior mixed-workload performance. PanFS provides a comprehensive, single global namespace for simplified storage management, while the DirectFlow protocol, specifically designed by Panasas for high-performance Linux clusters, eliminates I/O bottlenecks by allowing cluster nodes to access Panasas storage both directly and in parallel. RAID 6+ uses per-file distributed software based on erasure codes to deliver a 150-fold increase in reliability over dual-parity approaches.
“CD-adapco is on the forefront of using highly advanced engineering simulations that not only reduce engineering time and product design cost, but also contribute to delivering better and safer products for all of us,” said Geoffrey Noer, vice president of product management at Panasas. “With ActiveStor and its use of parallel data paths, CD-adapco was able to substantially increase data throughput to meet the high-performance requirements of MDX simulations, while maintaining high reliability for its mission-critical systems.”
- For more information on how CD-adapco uses Panasas storage, read the case study.