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Pharmaceutical Industry

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Organon Speeds Drug Discovery With SGI Technology

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via PRNewswire

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.

The migration to a high-speed SGI 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 servers andstorage, 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."

Organon replaced two older SGI servers with a SGI Altix 350system with 32 gigabytes of memory running Linux Enterprise Server 9 operating environment on 16 Intel Itanium 2 processors, and a 16-processor SGI Origin 3800 system running the SGI IRIX OS. The Oss center also operates an Intel Architecture 32-bit (IA32) Linux cluster and two Sun Solaris 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 InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS,which gives users instant, concurrent access to data on all platforms across a multi-speed two-gigabit/one-gigabit (Gb) SAN with two 2Gb, 16-port FibreChannel switches.

The SGI CXFS SAN provides access to five file systems located on fourSGI 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 visualization systems, are used for 3-D molecular visualization.

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