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NEC Selects DDN Storage for Japan’s Largest Corporate AI Research Supercomputer

DDN, the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and multicloud data management solutions, announced that NEC Corporation (NEC) has selected DDN storage for its new supercomputer dedicated to AI research.

With a raw compute performance of 580 PFLOPS, the new research supercomputer will provide data scientists at NEC with access to the largest AI-focused development environment in the industry in Japan and assist in the rapid development of advanced AI.

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The AI research supercomputer relies on the DDN EXAScaler parallel file system, which has been used in HPC environments around the world for more than 20 years, and more recently to support emerging large-scale AI use cases. The storage environment consists of multiple DDN ES400NVX EXAScaler appliances with a total capacity of 16 PB, providing 400 GB/sec read and 320 GB/sec write IO performance, and around 24 million IOPS. The AI research supercomputer’s hardware system is configured with NVIDIA’s A100 80GB Tensor Core GPU for processing and NVIDIA Spectrum SN3700 switches for networking, which are tightly integrated with the DDN solutions.

“NEC has been developing various advanced AI technologies such as biometric authentication, image recognition, video analysis, and data analytics. Therefore, we handle a wide variety of large-scale data, including images, video, audio, and text,” said Mr. Takatoshi Kitano, senior AI platform architect, Digital Technology Development Laboratory, NEC Corporation. “After a year of technical verification and operation, we decided to adopt DDN’s high-performance storage, which can handle a wide variety of I/O workloads. Another deciding factor in our decision was DDN Japan’s excellent technical development and maintenance capabilities. We expect both companies to collaborate on the development of the AI supercomputer and take on the challenge of creating new social value in the future.”

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In AI, the “data pre-processing” phase—from data ingestion to data transfer to training—is the most critical phase for a storage environment. DDN’s EXAScaler appliances not only provide high-performance storage for a variety of workloads but also offer the security and management features that are essential for enterprises’ AI workloads. DDN’s EXAScaler storage system provides GPU Direct Storage integration, the CSI driver necessary for storage access through Kubernetes, and multi-tenancy—standard features that enable secure and simplified management without compromising on performance improvements when utilized in a leading-edge deep learning environment.

“Data has become a strategic tool to address a wide variety of business opportunities,” said Robert Triendl, general manager of DDN Japan. “We are excited by this opportunity to supply NEC with an efficient solution to help drive their data-centric AI initiatives.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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