Data Network Expands to Meet Storage Demands


By Katie Oberthaler
Summer 2010

CReSIS computing has enacted several improvements to the network servers to increase storage capacity and data processing over the past year. Starting in the fall of 2009, networking staff upgraded to a DDN S2A9900 data storage system. This addition now supplements a previous Hitachi AMS100 rack. With this upgrade, storage doubled to 326 useable terabytes. The DDN system has the potential to hold 2.4 petabytes in a single system and runs with half the operational cost per terabyte as the Hitachi. Currently, CReSIS data occupies eighty percent of this storage space. The DDN will assuage storage capabilities for the next two to three years, depending on the frequency of field campaigns.

Currently, the six CReSIS servers run MATLAB Distributed Computing Engine on 128 cores, or “workers,” as MATLAB calls them. October 2009 installments of three new Dell servers - Drebber, Lestrade, and Small - represent the most advanced systems available for processing on a single computer platform. Drebber and Lestrade each run on two quad-core processors at 2.9 gigahertz. They can manage 24 gigabytes and 1333 megahertz of RAM. Small runs two six-core processors at 2.6 gigahertz and operates with 64 gigahertz of RAM. Three older servers – Galapagos, Tyree, and Macaroni – remain capable of processing, each with two dual-core processers. CReSIS networking staff are now working toward upgrading the core network in the cold room to increase the upstream connection and bandwidth support from one gigabyte to ten gigabytes. They also hope to improve access to the TeraGrid network, operated in part by Indiana University. In the future, up to 50 terabytes of CReSIS data could be stored in the TeraGrid clusters at Indiana University to be used for later processing.