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NCSA Introduces a New Way to Manage Data

Abstract blue and pink lights moving though a blue HPC system

Researchers looking for a less cumbersome experience moving data between compute and storage resources have a far better option since the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign introduced Taiga. And, archiving the storage, provided by the closely coupled Granite system, will come at a better price. It all makes managing data from systems across various projects far easier.

“The main goal for Taiga,” says JD Maloney, NCSA Senior Research Storage Engineer, “is to allow users to have their data all in one place.” The recently launched Taiga currently offers 10 petabytes of space at a speed of 80 GB/s for broad-access active data. Built using custom-configured Scalable Storage Units (SSUs) based on DDN’s ES400NVX platform and riding an HDR Infiniband fabric, Taiga uses cutting-edge technology and is designed for modular growth. Researchers will find Taiga well positioned to work with cloud storage applications, allowing data to be staged to and from Amazon, Google or Azure, for example, and then moved back to Taiga, where it can be stored more cost effectively. Or, they might use NCSA’s own Radiant system, making accessing data even easier.

“We’re creating an ecosystem where researchers can improve their data workflows,” says Maloney. “Taiga will deliver more capability than what’s currently available.”

Initially, the system will support four NCSA resources: Delta, a National Science Foundation-funded GPU-based compute resource; HAL, a cluster dedicated to University of Illinois researchers; projects with the Illinois Industry Partner Program; and data stored on Radiant. The team expects others to follow, particularly NSF-funded projects. And, while Taiga was originally scoped to just hold open-science data, the team believes they soon may be able to accommodate data from additional security/classification categories as well.

For more information on the Taiga and soon-to-be-introduced Granite systems, including getting started, visit this NCSA wiki page.


The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students and collaborators from around the globe use these resources to address research challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing many of the world’s industry giants for over 35 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

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