Finland’s CSC to Host ‘Massive’ Data Lake for Destination Earth

By Oliver Peckham

March 13, 2023

CSC, Finland’s scientific IT center, is now most famous for its LUMI system, launched in partnership with EuroHPC and landing third on the most recent Top500 list. Now, it’s gaining a new heavy-hitter at its Kajaani campus: a data management system that will support the Destination Earth (DestinE) moonshot project, which aims to create multiple digital twins of Earth.

DestinE involves the creation of two digital twins: one for extreme natural disasters and a second for climate change adaptation. It is the second that will be the primary focus at CSC, with the center having signed an agreement with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) last year to lead the development of the adaptation digital twin.

The data lake, CSC explains, will provide researchers with “seamless access” to data from recording instruments like satellites, as well as to the data produced by the digital twins themselves. CSC says that the data lake will be “particularly suitable for distributed big data workflows and storage of big data.” While the data lake will be housed at CSC, it will be acquired by the European Meteorological Satellite Agency (EUMETSAT), which bears “end-to-end responsibility” for the data lake. The data lake’s cloud services will be developed and operated by CloudFerro.

“Within the overall context of Destination Earth and also with regards to the DestinE Data Lake the EuroHPC JU sites like LUMI play a fundamental role,” said Lothar Wolf, program manager for DestinE at EUMETSAT. “We consider their expertise and infrastructure contribution as essential and are looking forward to a lasting relationship with us and also vis-a-vis our industrial prime CloudFerro.”

CSC says that the DestinE Data Lake will have a capacity of 30 petabytes and will consist of around 30 cabinets, which will be housed in the same ultra-sustainable datacenter as LUMI to allow for seamless processing of data from the digital twin that will be run on LUMI.

“This acquisition is a significant addition to our Kajaani ecosystem and a key part of Destination Earth,” said Jukka-Pekka Partanen, director of the Kajaani datacenter program at CSC. “The DestinE Data Lake will enable researchers using Digital Twins to access the large amounts of data they need and run smooth computations on the LUMI supercomputer. We want to increase the number of European research projects and international collaboration in our ecosystem, expand our ecosystem and develop our competence. This project offers excellent opportunities for that.”

The installation of the data lake hardware will begin this spring, and CSC says that “early operations” will begin in June. To learn more about Destination Earth, read HPCwire‘s previous coverage here.

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