Backup Appliance Provides Critical Data Protection for Solar Dynamics


San Clemente, CACoraid, Inc. said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center has purchased its SATA+RAID Ether-Drive Storage appliance to back up critical data for its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) program. This is the second NASA project to deploy Coraid’s EtherDrive Storage.

NASA is using the EtherDrive unit for periodic disk-to-disk backups and emergency retrieval. Using Arkeia backup software’s restore feature, a snapshot of critical data is created that is saved on a single EtherDrive disk, which is then removed and stored off site. If data recovery is needed the disk is retrieved and inserted either back into the Coraid storage appliance or into any Linux server to read the data.

SDO, the first space weather research network-mission in NASA’s Living With a Star program, will help scientists understand how solar variations influence life on earth as well as on technological systems. It will determine how the sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured, and how its magnetic field is converted and released as solar wind. Launch date is scheduled for April 2008.

Coraid’s SATA+RAID EtherDrive Storage appliance provides direct network attachment block-storage that connects with servers via Ethernet connections. The 1U appliance can connect up to four serial-ATA disks with a maximum capacity of 2.0 terabytes of storage, and the 3U appliance offers up to 15 disks, or 7.5 terabytes of storage, and since the storage is on the network, storage capacity can be expanded without limit. DNA uses the open ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) protocol that bypasses TCP/IP processing, eliminating the need for expensive network adapters. Disks inside the appliance and can be assembled into RAID sets including RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and concatenated/linear combinations. Each EtherDrive Storage appliance has its own Gigabit Ethernet connection; there are no limits to how many disks can be attached to a single server.

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Richard Phelps , senior editor, Control Engineering

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