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Oracle Customer Success — Met Office

Met Office

Met Office Chooses Oracle’s Tape Storage for World-Leading Weather Supercomputer

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With Oracle’s modular tape library system, we now have a cost-effective and future-proof storage solution, with the performance and capacity we need to deliver improved weather forecasting and climate predictions for the public, government, and businesses.

— Bob Maynard, Storage Team Leader, Met Office

Met Office Increases Supercomputer Storage by 13x to Deliver More Accurate Weather Forecasts, Severe Weather Warnings, and Climate Predictions

In 2014, Met Office announced a $US126 million investment in a new supercomputer to enable more detailed, sophisticated weather forecasting and to help predict disruptive weather events such as flooding, strong winds, fog, and heavy snowfall. This investment is expected to deliver widespread socio-economic benefits for the UK and its citizens, estimated at over US$2.6 billion.

Having invested in the largest weather and climate supercomputer in the world, Met Office’s existing storage solution was inadequate to meet the storage demand generated. Following a competitive tender for a new managed archive storage system (MASS), Met Office chose Oracle’s modular tape library system to deliver the cost effective storage capacity, speed, continuity, and scalability required.

 
Challenges
  • Provide enough capacity to meet the storage demands generated by the new supercomputer 15x more powerful than the previous model, including the increased scalability and capacity to manage a planned 13x increase in data from 60 petabytes (PB) in 2015 to between 800 and 1,200 PB in 2020
  • Ensure that weather data held in the storage library is constantly available to undertake thousands of analyses per day, to deliver accurate short- and long-range forecasting for stakeholders, including those from agencies such as government, business, the public, military, and civil aviation
  • Deliver a straightforward migration from the existing storage solution, to guarantee business as usual for the critical Met Office weather forecasting
     
Results
  • Increased storage capacity by 13x and increased performance by 2x over previous managed archive solution, enabling the new supercomputer to access the volumes of data required to calculate improved and accurate forecasting, severe weather warnings, and climate change predictions
  • Achieved in excess of 15 Gigabytes (GB) per second for read and write, enabling the supercomputer to run multiple complex forecasting models every day to deliver accurate long and short-range forecasts
  • Archived 100 terabytes (TB) of data per day, expecting to increase to 200TB per day from short- and long-term forecast models run several times a day, and climate change models which are run 24 hours per day
  • Implemented a large-scale library complex to store up to 1,200 PB of data by 2020, comprising two data halls replicating each other for business continuity, with four libraries and more than 80 T10000D drives in each data hall, 37,000 tape slots, serviced by eight high-performance robotic handbots in each library
  • Accessed and stored daily data readings from hundreds of thousands of sources including satellites and weather stations around the world, feeding into the system multiple times a day to help build accurate weather forecasts
  • Combined decades of historical weather data, together with current readings to create accurate forecasts and measure climate change
  • Used StorageTek Tape Analytics software running on Oracle Server X5-2 to pull out real-time and historical details about the storage library, tapes, and drives to immediately see any subtle degradation— enabling the team to make proactive replacements when necessary and avoiding any outages
  • Increased storage capacity further with compression, with Oracle StorageTek T10000 T2 tapes storing up to 30TB when the data type allows
  • Worked closely with Oracle to deliver the implementation seven months earlier than planned for a complex project with zero disruption to business as usual
     

 

During a competitive tender, we compared a number of suppliers. Oracle’s modular library system was the best fit in terms of reliability, capability, performance and cost-effectiveness. We’ve been really impressed with Oracle’s commitment and support throughout the project.

— Bob Maynard, Storage Team Leader, Met Office

Execution

The Oracle implementation team managed Met Office’s installation including hardware, software, and configuration. Once the networks, servers, and software were replaced, the new library went into production over just one weekend. The Met Office team migrated the data from the old libraries to the new within just five months, having originally planned for it to take 12 months. The entire implementation from the arrival of the first trucks on site was successfully completed within just six months.
 


About Met Office

Headquarters

 
Exeter, United Kingdom

Employees

 
2,100

Annual Revenue

 
US$292 million

Part of the UK government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Met Office is a world leading weather forecaster. It provides millions of forecasts and briefings every day for the government, military, the public and business, and is one of only two world forecasting centers for global aviation.
 

Published:  Oct 05, 2016