Ames Research Center Relying on Active Archive Alliance to Manage Data

June 2, 2014

BOULDER, Colo., June 2 — The Active Archive Alliance announced today that the NASA Ames Research Center (Ames) is utilizing an active archive to manage and store its high volume data.

Ames is one of the world’s leading high-performance computing sites for data and provides NASA with advancements in entry, descent and landing technologies; information technology; next-generation aviation improvements; astrobiology; airborne sciences; and small satellite programs. It generates approximately 2 petabytes (PB) a month of data related to its research and simulation programs.

Ames was an early adopter of active archiving, and has continued to deploy the latest active archive solutions to preserve the massive data volumes it generates and to ensure that its stored data remains secure, reliable and healthy. Its current active archive is architected using Spectra Logic’s enterprise tape libraries integrated with the SGI DMF tiered storage virtualization system.  With DMF, all storage, whether disk or tape, is perceived by the users and applications as one very large storage pool. In addition, all data whether on tape or disk, is always online and easy to access.

“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.

With the active archive, this migration requires no user interaction. All files still appear to users and applications exactly where they were, no matter where the system may place the files according to data management policies.

“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.

A full case study of the NASA Ames Research Center project is available here.

About The Active Archive Alliance

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. Active Archive Alliance members provide active archive solutions, best practices, and industry testimonials so that organizations can achieve fast, online access to all their data in the most cost effective manner. Active Archive Alliance members include Atempo, Cleversafe, Crossroads Systems, Dell, DataDirect Networks, Fujifilm, GRAU DATA AG, HP, Imation, QStar Technologies, Quantum, Scality, Seven10, SGI, Spectra Logic and XenData. Visit for more information.

Source: Active Archive Alliance

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