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Made in IBM Labs: Desert Research Institute Utilizing IBM Big Data Analytics To Assist Nevada's Growth Strategy

Pilot Program Poised to Build Out State-Wide University-Big Data Analytics and Environmental Research, Supporting the Governor's Economic Development Initiatives

ARMONK, N.Y., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno today announced they are partnering with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to use big data analytics and advanced research applications in the state's higher education system. This will serve as a basis for a new public and private sector collaboration that will drive overall workforce and economic development across the Silver State.

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DRI's world-known environmental research scientists are using IBM's PureSystems family of expert integrated systems; which includes the PureFlex infrastructure system, the PureApplication platform system and the PureData system to analyze, visualize and model environmental data. The goal of this collaboration is to improve upon scientific research capabilities in fields ranging from hydrology and water efficiency to atmospheric physics, archaeology and renewable energy.

"From climate modeling to real-time water quality monitoring and airborne infection forecasting, IBM PureSystems will not only dramatically change the way data is managed and examined, it will offer a significant shift in the higher education business model," said Thomas Jackman, Ph.D., Interim Senior Director of DRI's CAVCaM. "Through implementation of the IBM PureSystems technology and cloud-based services in a research environment, across multiple campuses, institutions such as DRI will be able to better achieve research goals and provide data-driven engineering services to support business and industry needs."

Nevada's GOED also has plans to broaden the scope of impact through the creation of a Center of Excellence (COE) that will serve as a collaborative innovation center between public and private sector entities who work together addressing real world social, economic, educational and environmental challenges.

Employing advanced technologies, a shared infrastructure and a common set of resources, the COE delivers high value shared services based on big data and a variety of analytics capabilities.  The planned center will be available to Nevada's researchers, government agencies, faculty, students and businesses. Operationally, the COE provides an education continuum and technology skills transfer with the strength to spin off new business ventures in key areas such as water and aridity, national defense and security, alternative energy, and cyber-physical security.

Creating Business and Research Opportunities through Improved Data Performance

DRI serves as Nevada's global laboratory, investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing environmental technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet.

DRI scientists and engineers have generated technologies for applications such as energy use monitoring in homes and businesses, measuring windblown dust emissions and ultra-fine particles, quantifying light scattering from large particles in the atmosphere, measuring particulate pollution and other sources of black-carbon emissions from power plants and diesel exhaust emissions in urban areas, modeling wind flow over complex terrain, and improved detection of icing conditions on airplane wings.

Scientific research and engineering initiatives require rapid and consistent application deployments with high levels of accuracy and performance.  Utilizing software patterns, which provide a simple way to deploy and manage solutions, the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) can easily create, manage and scale new complex research environments to support its research mission, without requiring additional IT resources. 

IBM PureSystems technology allows DRI to dramatically improve performance of data and compute intensive analytics to assist in further commercialization and application of science in real world scenarios. This technology in combination with DRI's Virtual Reality Laboratory allows scientists and engineers to analyze and visualize large data sets in real-time. Examples include the simulation of emergency preparedness scenarios, such as fighting wildland fires and other situations that will reduce risk and provide resilience toward natural disasters and climate change.

"The IBM PureSystems technology offers research institutions, such as DRI, simplified administration and management through a single pane of glass," said Jason McGee, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect PureSystems, IBM. "PureSystems simplifies the entire IT project lifecycle from design and deployment to management and maintenance for organizations like DRI with the goal of reducing life cycle time, cost and risk. PureSystems is designed to deliver innovations that transform the management of IT in the data center, while also providing an infrastructure in support of our Smarter Analytics solutions."

Integrated Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Management

With its ability to support innovative strategies in compute-intensive environments, DRI can apply PureSystems as a core component of its economic development strategy. Bringing simplicity to complex technology environments, PureSystems integrates computing, networking and storage into a single, highly-automated, simple-to-use system with integrated management.

DRI is simultaneously evaluating IBM's PureFlex System, an integrated infrastructure system that combines compute, storage, networking, virtualization and management; PureApplication System, a fully integrated application platform with IBM middleware; and PureData System for transactions, optimized exclusively for delivering data services.

DRI faculty and students applied IBM's PureFlex System and PureApplication System in a centralized method, serving commonly used research software such as MatLab and ESRI technologies. DRI has more than 150 researchers, post-doctoral positions and graduate students, all with multiple workstations, across two campuses in Las Vegas and Reno.

DRI, the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education, strives to be the world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people's lives throughout Nevada and the world. All DRI news releases are available at:  

Made in IBM Labs, IBM's expert integrated systems family – PureSystems – is the result of $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions over four years, an unprecedented move by IBM to integrate all IT elements, both physical and virtual.

For more information about these offerings, visit:, and

To view IBM's PureSystems press kit, visit: and to view IBM's Lab press kit, visit: To view IBM's Big Data YouTube Channel, visit:

Contact information:

Payal Cudia
IBM Global Communications
1 (781) 640-6764

Justin Broglio
Desert Research Institute
1 (775)673-7610


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