IPAC, a multi-mission center of expertise for long-wavelength astrophysics, serves to carry out data-intensive processing tasks of vital importance to NASA's infrared and sub-millimeter astronomy programs by developing and maintaining systems, access/analysis tools and data archiving. For the Palomar Transient Factory project the group will process and extract images of up to 30 million objects captured each night. The key to the system is the ability to process and deliver viewable images to researchers by the following day. Researchers estimate that the PTF will detect up to 42 billion records over the life of the project. Needing high speed disk storage with total resiliency to meet the extremely data-intensive demands and large scale data growth of the project, IPAC sought out any improvements or advances to storage technology that could help it better manage the PTF data through its lifecycle.
Based on its ability to provide a very high performance storage platform that offers true catastrophic fault tolerance while eliminating complexity and third-party components, IPAC selected and is in the process of building out a multi-node Exanodes clustered solution from Seanodes for the PTF project to offer a seamless, performance-scalable architecture at a price point significantly less than a traditional single controller SATA RAID array.
Seanodes is the most promising storage technology Ive come across in years, said Eugean Hacopians, senior systems engineer at IPAC. Ive found it to be a simple to deploy and manage architecture that is robust, highly resilient and very cost effective. To me it represents the foundation of a new era of storage architecture one in which storage systems exist independent of physical hardware and are much faster, much more flexible and utterly fault tolerant. We are very excited about the independence and performance that the Seanodes approach will provide in deploying future upgrades and expanded data storage requirements.