IBM System Must Handle Each Hour More Data Than In WWW - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
9/20/2009
07:38 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

IBM System Must Handle Each Hour More Data Than In WWW

A proposed giant new telescope will stream incomprehensibly large volumes of data to a computer IBM has agreed to build. The trick is how to handle the data torrent captured by the kilometer-square lens, which is expected to generate more data in a single hour than currently exists on the entire World Wide Web.

A proposed giant new telescope will stream incomprehensibly large volumes of data to a computer IBM has agreed to build. The trick is how to handle the data torrent captured by the kilometer-square lens, which is expected to generate more data in a single hour than currently exists on the entire World Wide Web."In its first hour alone, the SKA [telescope] will generate more information than that currently held in the entire World Wide Web," said the commerce minister for Australia, which along with South Africa is competing for the Square Kilometer Array telescope to be supported by the ultra-powerful computer IBM is charged with developing.

The article on the news.com.au site featuring that eye-popping spec reported that IBM has "agreed to research and develop IT systems for the transfer, management, processing and storage of the vast amount of radio astronomical data likely to be produced by the SKA."

And if that's not enough of a head-bender, another article about the project, this one on the slashdot.org site, said IBM believes the gizmo it needs to create to handle all that data will require the processing power of a billion PCs. Yep, a billion-with-a-B PCs, as per the slashdot post:

"IBM is researching an exaflop machine with the processing power of about one billion PCs. The machine will be used to help process the Exabyte of data per day expected to flow off the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project. The company is also researching solid state storage technology called 'racetrack memory' which is much faster and denser than flash and may hold the secret to storing the data from the SKA. The story also says that the SKA is unlikely to use grid computing or a cloud-based approach to processing the telescope data due to challenge in transferring so much data (about one thousand million 1Gb memory sticks each day)."

An interesting effort for IBM to pursue: just as IBM is positioning business analytics as one of its key initiatives because of that technology's ability to help predict future developments, it is also taking up this extraordinary project to look into the opposite direction, billions of years into the past, to see not so much where we are headed but instead where we have been.

I may think of IBM in a whole new way: the Time Machine company.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Ways to Prepare Your IT Organization for the Next Crisis
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/20/2020
News
IT Spending Forecast: Unfortunately, It's Going to Hurt
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/15/2020
Commentary
Helping Developers and Enterprises Answer the Skills Dilemma
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/19/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll