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Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Implements Storage Solution

PSC to store and manage more than a petabyte of data.

by / June 25, 2003
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has selected an SGI storage solution, with plans to ultimately store and manage over a petabyte of data.

A petabyte is about 100 times the contents of the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world with more than 18 million books, 2.5 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.5 million maps and 54 million manuscripts.

The PSC is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

PSC will use SGI's hierarchical storage management software to manage all data generated by its Terascale Computing System, currently used by over 1,000 researchers worldwide. PSC is also replacing an existing system and its data repository, and will migrate the data to a new system running the company's storage software.

The new system will be integrated into the terascale computing environment, which is committed solely to public research areas including earthquake preparedness, AIDS research, storm prediction and protein folding for biotechnology and pharmaceutical applications and is open to all science and engineering disciplines.

The data will be migrated to the new environment without changing the data format of the existing environment, requiring only a database conversion and no change to the data itself. The system is also compatible with the storage tapes that were used by the previous system. The new system will interface with the existing tape libraries, while the new software will manage the data placement and migration policies to fit the researchers' requirements.

The upgraded system storage will also help the PSC in its role as a member of the TeraGrid project. The TeraGrid was launched in February and is the world's largest, fastest, distributed infrastructure for open scientific research. The TeraGrid includes 20 teraflops of computing power distributed at five sites and will also include high-resolution visualization environments, and toolkits for grid computing. These components will be tightly integrated and connected through a network that will operate at 40 gigabits per second -- the fastest research grid on the planet.

Other participants in this grid computing project include the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California San Diego, Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne Ill., and the Center for Advanced Computing Research at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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