Expanded Data Repository at Austin and Arlington Campuses to Improve Research Capacity for Entire UT System

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin today announced that it is working with The University of Texas at Arlington to deploy a data repository in January to increase connectivity, computing capacity and collaboration among all 15 institutions in The University of Texas System.

This project is part of the System’s cyberinfrastructure initiative, a $23 million project announced in December 2010. The expansion of TACC’s existing Corral storage facility will provide 10 petabytes of storage for scientific data, replicated for protection at both sites, along with data collection management software for open science and clinical research data. The repository will greatly enhance researchers’ capabilities to share valuable scientific data in important research projects. TACC staffers will work with researchers to effectively use this resource.

"The new data storage repository will help us reach new heights in IT capacity and research computing," said Patricia Hurn, associate vice chancellor for health science research at The University of Texas System. "Using economies of scale to our advantage, this collaborative effort advances excellence across all our institutions, allowing them to grow in their computational approaches to research and improving their data warehousing and analysis needs."

"TACC is excited to support increased sharing of data by researchers across the state of Texas," said Jay Boisseau , director of TACC. "The explosive growth in the generation and capture of digital data from new sensors and instruments is making new scientific discoveries possible — this resource will help talented researchers collaborate more easily to make those discoveries."

Chris Jordan , leader of the Data Management and Collections group at TACC and chair of the storage committee for The University of Texas System cyberinfrastructure initiative, says the first phase of the project will be deployed in January. "The intent is to make the large pool of storage available to researchers for six months, and during that time encourage feedback and dialogue on what the needs might be for other technologies, such as data security, to meet the full range of research requirements throughout all 15 institutions."

The expanded data repository is composed of two identical installations — one in Austin and one in Arlington. "If a power outage takes out one of the two data centers or they become non-operational, the system can continue functioning," Jordan said. "There’s a strong emphasis on data integrity and reliable operation under a wide range of failure conditions."

Researchers who need five terabytes of data storage or less will have free access, and researchers requiring more can purchase storage for $250 a terabyte per year. Some storage will also be set aside to support strategic, collaborative projects that enhance the leadership position of University of Texas System institutions.

The overall cyberinfrastructure project, of which the $4 million data repository is one component, will provide funding for support staff to ensure that researchers across Texas can effectively use all of the advanced computing capabilities, including networking, central storage, data collection and high performance computing.

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