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Paper: ALMA Road to the Clouds
Volume: 522, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXVII
Page: 207
Authors: Zambrano, M.; Parra, J.; Simmonds, M.; Schemrl, A.; Arredondo, D.; Barrientos, A.; Gonzalez, N.; Malet, B.
Abstract: With the exponential growth of information in Astronomy, observatories worldwide are facing huge challenges in data storage and distribution. ALMA has been observing and delivering data during last five years to the scientific community from the southern to northern hemisphere. Like ALMA, many of the astronomical sites need to maintain an infrastructure that is complex but flexible enough to handle a never-ending data flow and network hardware to support this traffic. The challenges for the IT and operational departments is not only to prepare data centers, manage network contracts, provide power and cooling, but also to provision enough funds for yearly storage expansions and replacement due to the hardware obsolescence. While Moore's law keeps growing costs flat, the storage infrastructure (hosting the exponential growth) needs to be replaced every fixed number of years. Data life cycles at the observatories have opened an opportunity to investigate migration to cloud environments for flexible data management. We will review the current ALMA data handling state, some of the cloud alternatives aiming to cover high availability, obsolescence and operational costs.
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