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November 9, 2016updated 10 Nov 2016 9:12am

University of Leeds bets on deep storage for petabyte-scale science data

The School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds has selected Spectra for its deep storage needs.

By Hannah Williams

Spectra Logic, has announced that the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds has chosen Spectra’s T950 Tape Library and Verde Disk Solution to meet its IT storage requirements.

The university, which is known for conducting vital research across a number of earth science disciplines, has always previously relied solely on disk drive technology for its long-term storage needs.

Spectra’s T9S0 exceeds the storage capabilities of the university’s previous disk-based storage solution, enabling efficient, long-term storage of incredibly large research data sets in a variety of formats, at a fraction of the cost.

With the life of a typical disk drive running at approximately three years, and an increasingly stringent requirement from grant-funding bodies for data be kept between 10-20 years, it was important that Leeds find a more durable, cost-effective solution.

Professor Alan Haywood, director of research and innovation, School of Earth and Environment said: “Before the deployment of the Spectra T950 we had to continually monitor our disk space and decide what data to delete in order to free up capacity for the latest research files. But it is difficult to judge the value of old data as you do not always know what its re-use value may be in the future.

“Now we can increase the amount of storage capacity infinitely to our requirements, meaning we will never run out of space to store valuable data.”

The Verde NAS, which was also selected by the university, serves as an secondary sile storage system, and sends a copy of the data to the T950, before it is safely removed and stored on a shelf outside of the library.

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spectra-t950Spectra have confirmed that Professor Haywood and the rest of the team from the University of Leeds have observed results of substantial cost savings from the new Spectra T950. This produces benefits as researchers can now migrate older data to tape thus freeing up disk space and eliminating additional disk purchases.

Steve Conway, Research vice president, High performance computing, IDC said: “The next generation of models will deal with even higher resolutions, and produce significantly greater volumes of data, which must be stored for more complex scientific analyses to be performed.

“The value of the data in this field is also incredibly high as new techniques can be applied to existing data, to gain fresh insight from the results for future use.”

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