Met Office gives businesses the upper hand with fast, accurate weather data
By Peter Chase | 2 minute read | November 5, 2019
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Weather is one of the few things in life none of us can control – but we can prepare for it. Businesses in every industry are waking up to the impact that temperature, wind conditions, rain and more can have on their operations. As a result, many are looking for accurate forecast data to help them flourish, whatever the weather.
This is where the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, comes in. We work with our partners around the clock to provide weather and climate information that people can rely on.
At the Met Office, we don’t rest on our laurels. We’re always looking to deliver forecasts that push the limits of accuracy and range. On top of that, we continue to seek out internal efficiencies. Could technology hold the key to these goals?
Getting wind of hybrid cloud
We launched a new ‘cloud-first’ IT strategy, deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure. At its center: a stretched cluster based on an IBM Z server and software-defined IBM Storage environment, connected to a public cloud platform.
Our IBM Z server provides the high uptime, stability and processing power we need to support data-intensive forecast models. Each day, it ingests 200 million weather observations, offering it up for analysis in our supercomputing environment. It also collects 10 TB of results from our supercomputer daily, making them available to our clients via the public cloud platform.
When we looked at the business case for IBM Storwize V7000F all-flash storage, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it provides both outstanding performance and efficiency. We chose IBM Spectrum Scale to ensure that we could move large amounts of data between our on-premises and public cloud environments securely and easily.
Brightening up business prospects
By reducing response times and increasing availability, the IBM solutions help the Met Office deliver accurate, timely weather data to clients. We play a key role in helping businesses in the UK and beyond respond to changes in weather and climate more effectively.
For instance, supermarkets can make stock choices based on upcoming weather conditions, such as preparing for soaring sales of BBQ food and equipment in a heatwave. Transport companies can get ready for icy conditions, minimizing the impact on passengers. These are just a couple of examples of the diverse range of organizations making better decisions with our forecasts.
The project enabled benefits internally too. We achieved a 2:1 compression ratio using IBM Storage solutions, preventing us spending an estimated GBP 200,000 on additional storage capacity.
The scene is set for users to create new products and services that are more closely aligned to weather and climate conditions than was possible in the past. With powerful IBM infrastructure behind the scenes, we’re building on our reputation as the place to come to for the most precise, reliable weather and climate data available.