The Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration will study cosmic acceleration with a 5000 deg2 griZY survey in the southern sky over 525 nights from 2011-2016. The DES data management (DESDM) system will be used to process and archive these data and the resulting science ready data products. The DESDM system consists of an integrated archive, a processing framework, an ensemble of astronomy codes and a data access framework. We are developing the DESDM system for operation in the high performance computing (HPC) environments at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Fermilab. Operating the DESDM system in an HPC environment offers both speed and flexibility. We will employ it for our regular nightly processing needs, and for more compute-intensive tasks such as large scale image coaddition campaigns, extraction of weak lensing shear from the full survey dataset, and massive seasonal reprocessing of the DES data. Data products will be available to the Collaboration and later to the public through a virtual-observatory compatible web portal. Our approach leverages investments in publicly available HPC systems, greatly reducing hardware and maintenance costs to the project, which must deploy and maintain only the storage, database platforms and orchestration and web portal nodes that are specific to DESDM. In Fall 2007, we tested the current DESDM system on both simulated and real survey data. We used Teragrid to process 10 simulated DES nights (3TB of raw data), ingesting and calibrating approximately 250 million objects into the DES Archive database. We also used DESDM to process and calibrate over 50 nights of survey data acquired with the Mosaic2 camera. Comparison to truth tables in the case of the simulated data and internal crosschecks in the case of the real data indicate that astrometric and photometric data quality is excellent.