Williams said the project has been driven by the growth in storage demand across the organisation and a desire to implement a system that would deliver improved efficiency and services, better value for money, and cater for the future.
The University's data has been doubling every 14-18 months, and Williams said that at the same time the number of disparate data silos had been increasing across the organisation as groups attempted locally to solve their challenges. 'The building of the new data cloud provides a single effective approach to address all of the storage requirements of the University.'
According to Williams, ANU realised that the opportunity existed through economies of scale to significantly improve the manner in which the university managed its growing data volumes. The Division of Information (DOI) and the National Computing Infrastructure (NCI) groups had aligned the requirements for storage infrastructure to support their initiatives to present a single architecture for performance, functionality and growth. 'As a result, the new infrastructure is spread across two locations to provide increased resiliency on the ANU campus in Acton, Australian Capital Territory.'
Dr Ben Evans, who oversees data activities for NCI, said the organisation's data storage systems were an important infrastructure for its high performance modelling and data-intensive research. 'We required a flexible and reliable platform to manage data in diverse application areas, such as astronomy, climate, environment, geophysics and the social sciences. With this installation, and ongoing collaboration with SGI, we aim to achieve new level of data service performance and resiliency that integrates with our HPC and cloud services.'
Nick Gorga, SGI general manager, Australia and New Zealand, said that to scale NCI data archive volumes, the cloud uses the SGI Data Migration Facility (DMF) tiered storage and Spectra Logic tape libraries, with capacity of up to 14PB of nearline storage and significant capacity to grow as needs dictate. 'FalconStor virtualisation servers enhance online stores with dynamic SSD caches while accelerating Virtual Machine backups use TimeMark and HyperTrac technologies.'
Gorga said the installation includes over 11PB of SGI InfiniteStorage RAID technology, NAS appliances and 8Gbps fibre channel switching to unify the various components into a cloud delivering comprehensive storage services.
According to Gorga, SGI took responsibility for the overall project and worked with its partners Independent Data Solutions-Group, Spectra Logic and QLogic to implement the solution, as well as working closely with ANU to optimise the data cloud.
'Data is the lifeblood of any organisation. The ability to manage it efficiently and cost effectively empowers an organisation to make great decisions and discoveries. We are confident ANU will reap significant benefits over the coming years,' Gorga said.