• Press Release

    February 22, 2011

    Arizona State University Lunar Orbiter Maps the Moon with EMC Isilon

    University Deploys Isilon Scale-Out NAS to Power Processing and Analysis of Tens of Thousands of Images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, Simplifying Big Data Management and Improving Reliability

    SEATTLE, WA - February 22, 2011 -

    EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that the Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) has deployed EMC Isilon® scale-out NAS to power the processing and analysis of tens of thousands of lunar images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), with the aim of identifying ideal landing sites and areas of permanent shadow and illumination on the Moon's surface. Using Isilon's NL-Series, powered by the OneFS® operating system, SESE has consolidated its entire image processing, analysis and archiving workflow onto a single file system, simplifying big data management to reduce operating costs and increase research productivity. Additionally, using Isilon's SyncIQ® asynchronous replication application, SESE can replicate its massive collection of lunar imagery to a second Isilon NL cluster to ensure maximum data reliability and availability.

    "We're only in the second year of the LRO project and already the storage requirements are unlike anything we've seen. With this effort expected to last until at least 2014, there's just no way our previous NAS system could have handled the workload," said Ernest Bowman-Cisneros, LROC Science Operations Center Manager, SESE. "By switching to Isilon, we've created a single, easily scalable and manageable share for all our lunar imagery. Now we're not only staying ahead of our deadlines, but doing so with significantly less storage management or risk of data loss."

    Launched in Spring 2009 and equipped with seven instruments including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), the LRO is currently orbiting the Moon, beaming images back to Goddard Space Flight Center, which manages the LRO spacecraft. Goddard then distributes the images to LROC Science Operations Center (SOC) at SESE, for processing and analysis. Once the SOC processes the images, it archives copies to NASA, and makes them publicly available through the Planetary Data System archive, as well as its own website.

    Prior to deploying Isilon, SESE's traditional NAS system couldn't scale in-line with its data growth requirements, segregating data into disparate silos and increasing the risk of data loss, while complicating management. Working with Isilon channel partner Transource, the LROC SOC deployed more than 600 terabytes of Isilon's NL-Series to create two separate clusters; one for primary processing and analysis, and one for backup and archiving. With Isilon, LROC's entire imaging workflow is consolidated on a single, shared pool of storage, simplifying data management to improve data reliability and image processing performance. Additionally, Isilon's unique scale-out architecture enables LROC to add or remove nodes in minutes without any downtime or interruption, eliminating the need for disruptive system upgrades and ensuring image processing and analysis continues unabated.

    "LROC and NASA are not only advancing our understanding of the Moon at a faster pace than ever before, but with the Planetary Data System, they're giving us a front row seat to each new discovery," said Sam Grocott, vice president of marketing, Isilon. "This is a great example of big data at work in our lives, as these massive lunar image repositories are providing insights into our solar system that were impossible just a decade ago. By using Isilon to simplify data management and improve reliability for its lunar imaging workflow, LROC is demonstrating that for big data, Isilon is the ideal solution."

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