NASA Ames Wrangles Data with Active Archive

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ActiveArchiveLogoToday the Active Archive Alliance announced that the NASA Ames Research Center is using an active archive to manage and store its high volume data. As one of the world’s leading HPC sites, NASA Ames generates approximately 2 petabytes a month of data in support of space agency information technology.

The active archive solution allows us to reduce cost through the use of cost-effective tape media for long term data retention in place of disk drives, while maintaining reliability plus the ability to easily retrieve data. Tape is energy efficient resulting in overall energy savings,” said Davin Chan, HPC Technical Director for CSC supporting NASA Ames Research Center.

Ames has an average of 1,000 users saving and accessing data on a regular basis. Due to the critical nature of its research, all data are stored indefinitely until the users decide to delete it. Approximately 1 PB of Ames data is cached on disk at any given time. However, this data is only temporarily stored on disk arrays. When the system reaches 80 percent capacity, data that has not been recently accessed is automatically migrated to tape.

The Active Archive Alliance is a collaborative industry alliance dedicated to promoting active archives for simplified, online access to all archived data.  Launched in early 2010 by founding technology partners Dell, FileTek, Inc., QStar Technologies, SGI and Spectra Logic Corporation, the Active Archive Alliance is a vendor neutral organization open to leading providers of active archive technologies including file systems, active archive applications, cloud storage, and high density tape and disk storage, as well as individuals and end-users.

The active archive provides our researchers with fast, online access to their data and provides an effective method to easily expand the storage capacity of the system as data storage needs grow,” added Chan.

Read the NASA Ames Case Study.

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