Los Alamos, Home of Manhattan Project, Builds Another Cloud

Virtualization helps lab plan for sudden, rapid expansion

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Los Alamos National Laboratories has built a cloud-based network that scientists can use to share research and information and which can accommodate sudden, rapid expansions of work from the lab.

The secure private cloud is the first infrastructure-on-demand, private cloud-based system the energy department has built, according to the solutions architect in charge of building it.

The Lab wanted a flexible, on-demand, high-performance computing system for scientists, that made better use of their resources and could expand in areas where the work was suddenly hot.

They researched several options before settling on a VMware-based system that helped the lab get rid of more than 100 physical servers and save $1.4 million.

It runs 400 virtual machines on 13 HP ProLiant DL servers, storage from NetApp, VMware vCloud Director managing the provisioning and virtualization, vShield for security and Microsoft's SharePoint to help scientists share documents and communicate.

So far it has not exploded.

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