IU Data Capacitor Enables Collaboration for Science

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<p><strong>Bloomington, Ind. &mdash; June 13</strong><br />Indiana University&#39;s (IU) Data Capacitor has demonstrated since its opening weeks of production in April a single-client transfer rate of 977 megabytes per second across the TeraGrid network. </p><p>Data was copied from a single computer equipped with a 10-gigabit Ethernet card from Oak Ridge National Laboratory to the Data Capacitor at IU&#39;s Bloomington campus.<br /><br />These numbers, according to researchers involved, mean that the Data Capacitor and the high-speed TeraGrid network can move large data sets exceptionally quickly and very easily. </p><p>Speed and ease allows collaboration among scientists at other institutions in ways that would have been essentially impossible in the past. </p><p>And more collaboration means the potential for faster, better science leading to discoveries in any number of fields.<br /><br />&quot;This technology has the potential to significantly change how scientists collaborate across distance,&quot; said Stephen Simms, Data Capacitor project lead.</p><p>The outstanding transfer rate, which represents nearly 80 percent of the 10-gigabit network&#39;s theoretical capacity, was reported by Simms during a talk titled, &quot;Wide Area File System Performance Using Lustre on the TeraGrid.&quot; </p><p>The talk was given by him and collaborators from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center at the TeraGrid &#39;07 national conference held last week in Madison, Wis.<br /><br />Since entering production in April, the Data Capacitor has supported several high-profile projects, including the Linked Environment for Atmospheric Discovery (LEAD) Science Gateway, which provides meteorological data, forecast models and analysis tools for the interactive exploration, simulation and prediction of weather, and the WxChallenge, a collegiate weather forecasting competition. </p><p>The Data Capacitor is also a key cyberinfrastructure component in an international federation of crystallography labs under the Common Instrument Middleware Project (CIMA).<br /><br />&quot;The Data Capacitor has been exceptionally valuable to the CIMA project,&quot; said Donald F. McMullen, IU Pervasive Technology Labs principal investigator. &quot;Its capacity and throughput allowed us to design and implement a system that supports data sharing and maintains workflows involving massive amounts of instrument data for about a dozen labs in the U.S. and around the world.&quot;<br /><br />The Data Capacitor was developed by a team from University Information Technology Services, the IU School of Informatics and Pervasive Technology Labs at IU, with financial support from the National Science Foundation. </p><p>Project co-principal investigators include Randall Bramley, Catherine Pilachowski and Beth Plale. </p><p>Its architecture uses components manufactured by Data Direct Networks, Myricom and Dell. The Data Capacitor&#39;s Lustre filesystem is supported by Cluster File Systems.</p>

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