Inside CSC World
Download the Spring 2012 issue (PDF, 2.56 MB).
by Chris Sapardanis
CSC’s history at NASA dates back nearly as far as the creation of the space program itself. For more than 50 years, we’ve helped NASA in its mission to better understand Earth and our extra-planetary environs.
During that time, CSC has provided a range of IT services for most Space Shuttle launches and landings. We supported the planning, training and implementation of a mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. And in 1961, we began a system support contract at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, a relationship that continues today.
In this issue’s cover story, “Supercomputing the Climate,” we visit the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), based at Goddard and home to one of the largest contingents of earth scientists in the world. The facility has several groups of computers, each of which is tasked with a particular aspect of data-intensive supercomputing. The NCCS Discover supercomputing cluster, which ranks among the top 100 supercomputers in the world, plays a central role in NASA’s earth science mission.
Over the past five years, CSC has helped increase Discover’s performance 130-fold. Today, the NCCS computing cluster uses more than 35,000 processing cores to crunch more than 400 trillion floating-point operations per second. By comparison, it would take every person on Earth adding pairs of seven-digit numbers at the rate of one per second for more than 17 hours to do what Discover can do in one second.
Also in this issue, we highlight two more stories from the public sector. In Maryland, CSC helped develop and upgrade an advanced traffic management system, which was one of the first intelligent transportation systems in the United States. In Alabama, CSC is systems integrator and program manager for the U.S. Army Flight School, where we help the Army train its next generation of helicopter pilots.
In addition to partnerships with government agencies, CSC’s world-renowned technologists and thought leaders continue to guide clients across the ever-changing IT landscape. In “10 Things Most Vendors Won’t Tell You About Modernization,” we reveal what some software vendors may be leaving out of the conversation about your applications portfolio. And as companies develop applications and workflows to take advantage of tablet computing, in “Invasion of the Tablets,” we offer tips on managing the “bring your own device” (BYOD) revolution.
We hope you enjoy the issue.
Chris Sapardanis is editor of CSC World.