Organon Speeds Drug Discovery With SGI Technology

Posted by dcparris on Oct 27, 2005 4:58 AM EDT
PR Newswire; By Press release
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SGI Altix and SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS Transparently Manages Multiple Operating Systems in an SGI SAN Environment [Pharmaceutical company, Organon, is using the SGI SAN solution to manage several operating environments, including a Linux cluster and Linux on an Altix 350 system. This solution overcomes the limitations of NFS. -Ed]

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To accelerate research and reduce time to discovery, pharmaceutical company Organon International, the human healthcare business unit of conglomerate Akzo Nobel, purchased a variety of Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) technology to substantially upgrade their primary research center in Oss, The Netherlands. Organon is a global leader in the development of prescription medicines in the areas of contraception, fertility, hormone therapy, mental health, and anesthesia, with sales to over 100 countries. The migration to a high-speed SGI(R) InfiniteStorage storage area network (SAN) began in October 2004, with Organon selecting SGI Professional Services to design an accelerated workflow with a variety of existing systems in mind. Integration of the new SGI storage area network (SAN) and legacy hardware, including older SGI(R) servers and storage, was completed in March of this year.

"We use our compute resources to support research with bioinformatics and cheminformatics technologies," said Rene van Schaik, Head of Molecular Information Technologies, Organon. "Our primary goal in upgrading to a SAN solution was to give our scientists more speed -- higher computational performance -- and greater flexibility. And they needed to be able to use their existing software. We wanted a shared-memory machine to handle much larger datasets. Finally, we wanted a transparent storage solution with a shorter backup window. We had SGI TP9100 disk arrays, and we wanted to add to our storage setup rather than start from scratch. It was a complex project because it involved other vendors and two organizations within Organon. SGI offered us the simplest upgrade path."

Organon replaced two older SGI(R) servers with a SGI(R) Altix(R) 350 system with 32GB of memory running Linux(R) Enterprise Server 9 operating environment on 16 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors, and a 16-processor SGI(R) Origin(R) 3800 system running the SGI(R) IRIX(R) OS. The Oss center also operates an Intel Architecture 32-bit (IA32) Linux cluster and two Sun(R) Solaris(R) servers. One Sun system runs VERITAS Mediaserver for backup; the other is a production server. All systems communicate over a SGI InfiniteStorage SAN running SGI(R) InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS(TM), which gives users instant, concurrent access to data on all platforms across a multi-speed 2Gb/1Gb SAN with two 2Gb, 16-port FibreChannel switches.

The SGI CXFS SAN provides access to five file systems located on four SGI(R) InfiniteStorage TP9100 disk arrays and to 8TB of archived data on a StorageTek L-180 tape library with four LTO gen-2 tape drives. Twenty-two SGI workstations, primarily Silicon Graphics Fuel(R) visualization systems, are used for 3D molecular visualization.

"We now have an SGI SAN storage solution and a transparent pool of disk space for our four different types of machines," concluded van Schaik. "Data communication is much faster. We had a lot of NFS-related performance issues that are now gone. And thanks to CXFS we no longer have multiple versions of the data on the network. That means less network traffic and reduced storage requirements. Our scientists can now submit queries that were not possible in the past. They can do longer simulations, and they have transparent access to all resources. We can do more computations at higher speed, and we have more storage available. There is no question that our results are going to improve."

Organon operates a similar but smaller-scale facility at its Newhouse, Scotland, research center, including an SGI(R) Origin(R) 3000 server, a Linux cluster, and a SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS Shared Filesystem SAN.

"Maintaining leadership and a competitive edge in Organon's business requires the sustained effort of scientists with access to powerful computing resources," said Roberto Gomperts, principal scientist in the Applications Engineering Group, SGI. "The SGI Altix environment in the new Shared Filesystem CXFS infrastructure has increased throughput and productivity, providing researchers with compute resources they never had before." About Organon International

Organon -- with shared head offices in Roseland, NJ, USA and Oss, The Netherlands -- creates, manufactures and markets prescription medicines that improve the health and quality of human life. Through a combination of independent growth and business partnerships, Organon strives to remain or become one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in each of its core therapeutic fields: reproductive medicine, psychiatry and anesthesia. Organon products are sold in over 100 countries, of which more than 60 have an Organon subsidiary. Organon is the human health care business unit of Akzo Nobel. SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery(TM)

SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc., is a leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI's vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate change, providing technologies for homeland security and defense or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at http://www.sgi.com. NOTE: Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, Origin, Fuel, IRIX, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks and CXFS and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Intel and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Solaris is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. MEDIA CONTACT

Marla Robinson

marlar@sgi.com

256-733-2371 SGI PR HOTLINE

650-933-7777 SGI PR FACSIMILE

650-933-0283

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