Dealing with Data Proliferation at Clemson

Jim Pepin, CTO for Clemson University talked today at the HPC Consortium Meeting about the challenges and problems created by emerging technology and socal trends as seen through the lens of a university environment.

As a preamble, Jim noted that between 1970 and now the increases in compute and storage capabilities have pretty much kept pace with each other. Networking bandwidth, however, has lagged by about two orders of magnitude. This has a variety of ramifications for local/centralized data storage decisions (or constraints.)

In many ways, storage is moving closer to end-users. Examples include personal storage like iPods, phones, local NAS boxes, etc, as well as more research-oriented data collection efforts related to the proliferation of new sensors and instrumentation. There is data everywhere in vast quantities and widely distributed across a typical university environment.

Particular issues of concern at Clemson include how to back up these distributed and rapidly-growing pools of storage, how to handle security, how to protect data while still being able to open networks, and how to deal with a wide diversity of systems and data-generating instruments.


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