IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014 - (Page 18)

Met Office makes a cost-conscious and test-driven decision to consolidate Linux instances on the mainframe "Y *IM 5TSLER s 0HOTOGRAPHY BY 3IMON +EITCH Y ou check the weather forecast on a Monday and see it's going to be sunny all week. Alas, on Wednesday, it's raining. That's the curse of weather forecasting. Occasionally, no matter how many models are run and how good the science, probability runs foul of the physics. But that's quickly changing, thanks to the ever-increasing power of supercomputers and much more sophisticated modeling capabilities. One organization that's taking up the challenge of improving forecasts for both its commercial and noncommercial customers is the Met Office, a provider of global weather forecasts, based in the U.K. Not only does it have a supercomputing environment to power its weather modeling, but also two IBM zEnterprise* 196s (z196s) that help propagate that forecasting information to end users and customers. Much of this is done thanks to the organization's heavy and increasing use of Linux* running on a series of Integrated Facilities for Linux (IFLs). As is often the case with this type of consolidation, Met Office is now in the position to better serve its downstream customers and contain operating costs-not to mention more accurately tell people whether they need their umbrellas or not. Downstream Data Based in Exeter, Devon, England, Met Office has been operating 18 // JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 since 1854, first providing forecasts for oceangoing ships. When aviation became prevalent, it expanded its portfolio to serve aircraft as well. After World War II, Met Office began using early computers to improve its forecasting. In the late 1960s, it introduced its first IBM mainframe to its computing lineup. Now it offers forecasting information and weather-related products to a variety of customers. "We forecast for the public and a wide range of commercial sectors, and have a strong history of forecasting for the marine and aviation sectors," explains Martyn Catlow, Met Office portfolio lead for centralized IT infrastructure. "We also produce weather products for defense and a wide range of retail and infrastructure customers, such as national road and utility services." Notably, global climate change research is a large aspect of Met Office's predictions and a huge consumer of IT capabilities, Catlow says. "The data produced by this activity to date amounts to around 17 petabytes and is archived in a specially designed, multi-storage-tier data warehouse," she adds. The heavy-duty number crunching involved in the creation of numerical forecasts is conducted in a supercomputing environment

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: The father of innovation
IBM Perspective: Mainframe innovation continues
Trends: RDz family of tools helps organizations address new paradigms and business expectations
IT Today: Flash Express integrates secure, high-performance storage within System z
Case Study: Weather or Not: Met Office makes a cost-conscious and test-driven decision to consolidate Linux instances on the mainframe
Cover Story: The System z influence: How mainframe innovations have helped shape and reshape the IT world
Feature: Always moving forward: IBM's System z platform has many more tricks up its sleeve
Tech Corner: JES2 SAPI POST optimization can yield results
How To: How to successfully implement zBX hybrid computing
Solutions: Attunity Replicate 2.1, InSync Plugin, Storage Director 4.1
Stop Run: Coin collecting and history fascinate mainframe strategist
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2014 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - January/February 2014