SWITCH Storage WG in Bern

Today i attended the SWITCH Storage Working Group meeting. It was very well attended, many of our SyBIT partners were present (FMI, Biozentrum, UZH, ETHZ, EPFL) and also infrastructure people from other universities and universities of applied sciences. In the morning some sites have shown what they have in terms of storage and how they do things. Except for our partners most have focussed on storage infrastructure for the ‘commodity’ services like administration (SAP db, finance files), email, user’s home directories, backup. We have certainly the largest amount of scientific research data, and it easily surpasses all of the other kinds of data. But in terms of technology being used there was a lot of overlap, and it was suggested by several people to cooperate when acquiring hardware and software and to exchange information.

There were presentations on cloud storage, on ideas for distributed archiving and by SWITCH on network pricing. Cloud storage in terms of private cloud storage was seen as useful, but using commercial providers for long-term storage is obviously too expensive. The technology however is interesting also to share data and resources among universities, especially since with SWITCH we would not have any network costs. Small universities could profit from bigger ones, and the big ones might also exchange resources among each other.

The distributed archiving idea is about duplicating data (read only archive data) accross several sites for safety. Each site can have its own long-term archive solution, but for certain data that needs more security and several off-site copies, this is a proposed mechanism to achieve it (storage broker presentation). For the copy mechanism they suggested bittorrent..

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