Los Alamos Customer Case Study

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory founded in 1943. The Lab’s mission is to develop and apply science and technology to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; reduce global threats; and solve other emerging national security and energy challenges. LANL applies the best scientific and engineering solutions to the national security mission and to many of the world’s most difficult challenges.

Spectra Tfinity

LANL’s high performance computing resources depend on an available and performant archival system. LANL uses the Spectra TFinity system for long-term archival of data and Spectra has assisted LANL in migration of data to new TFinity tape libraries.

– David Bonnie, Future Archives Technical Lead, Los Alamos National Laboratory

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The Challenge

LANL is tasked with guaranteeing paramount information retention as part of its nuclear stockpile stewardship mission. New nuclear weapons have not been developed in the United States since the early 1990s, and research at Los Alamos must be conducted without the use of nuclear testing, meaning the data they store may never be re-created. In their protective archive tier, data must be stored forever or until someone willingly deletes it, which typically means that data is stored for multiple years. When the time came to bring in new computing machines into their facilities, LANL faced a considerable challenge: to move the entire tape storage infrastructure to a new location.

Spectra installed and brought the new TFinity tape library into operation. Spectra also built custom door brackets to accommodate our physical security restrictions and developed custom firmware to ensure the deteriorating labels on existing tape media was read properly by the Spectra barcode scanners.

– David Bonnie, Future Archives Technical Lead, Los Alamos National Laboratory

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The Solution

Los Alamos National Laboratory chose to replace their previous archive with the Spectra® TFinity® ExaScale Tape Library. Because the TFinity is compatible with Oracle® T10000 enterprise tape technol­ogy, LANL was able to repurpose their existing tape drives and media, as well as deploy additional LTO tape technology. LANL and Spectra Logic worked closely to test and integrate the transferred tape drives so that the data migration could be completed in the expected time frame and with minimal interruption to users. At the end of the day, users were able to continue normal operations, entirely unaware of the migration. LANL now has four Spectra TFinity tape libraries across three different data centers. The libraries meet LANL’s constant availability require­ments and provide scalable, cost-effective storage to support Los Alamos’ high-impact research well into the future.

Environment Snapshot

  • 14-frame Spectra® TFinity Tape Library with 28 LTO-7 and six LTO-8 tape drives>
  • 12-frame Spectra® TFinity Tape Library with 80 LTO-8 tape drives
  • Five-frame Spectra® TFinity Tape Library with 26 LTO-8 tape drives
  • 10-frame Spectra® TFinity Tape Library with Oracle T10K tape drives
  • BlueScale® Software with standard encryption
  • HPSS and IBM Spectrum Protect software

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Customer Story

With an eye on delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability, Los Alamos National Laboratory required a replacement for their SL8500 Oracle tape libraries, whose support longevity was questionable and expensive to maintain. They looked to Spectra’s TFinity Tape Library to replace their legacy tape libraries because of its high reliability and its ability to store data with three tape media formats.

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