Engineers at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) needed hard drives to store satellite data on Earth imagery. They found a solution in EtherDrive Storage Blades from Coraid Inc. in San Clemente, Calif.
NASA researchers use EtherDrive Storage Blades and RAIDBlade/20 RAID controllers to store airborne remote sensing data.
NASA is working with the remote sensing group at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in St. Petersburg, Fla., to acquire dense topographic and laser backscatter data of the Earth using an airborne laser ranging system. The system is known as Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar, or EAARL.
The system can produce more than 40 gigabytes of data per flight day. So the researchers are challenged to keep copies at NASA’s Wallops flight facility in Wallops Island, Va., at the USGS offices in St. Petersburg, and available online for other project researchers.
“It was very important for NASA to find a low-cost, highly scalable, and reliable solution for storing lidar and other forms of digital images,” says Wayne Wright, Director of NASA’s EAARL project. “The amount of flexibility EtherDrive offers was important to us as well. It’s possible to configure any RAID set, but we basically used EtherDrive to build a RAID-10 array using low cost, off the shelf, 400-gigabyte IDE disk drives.”
Coraid’s blades provide use Ethernet connections between the server and a shared storage array (pool). Several servers can access a common disk storage system, so storage array performance is limited only by the number of disks configured for RAID striping and the speed of the Ethernet connection at the server. For more information, see www.coraid.com.