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The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt Maryland is exploring advanced storage architectures for retaining and distributing its large data holdings. As a research vehicle, a multi-building Storage Area Network (SAN) was deployed at GSFC in early 2002. The initial objective was to demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of fibre channel-connected, centralized storage as it applies to a campus installation. The secondary objective was to illustrate the advantages of a heterogeneous SAN shared file system that would allow a single instance of data to be globally shared amongst multiple SAN-connected clients on different platforms. The GSFC SAN has since been extended to include off-campus connections for evaluating the Internet Protocol (IP) as an option for connecting a broader, more geographically dispersed user base. The focus of this paper is the series of tests conducted to characterize distance data sharing using both native FC and IP based technologies. These experiments include both standard I/O benchmarks as well as representative GSFC applications.
Date of Conference: 7-10 April 2003