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A novel approach to automated, secure, reliable, & distributed backup of mer tactical data on clouds

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4 Author(s)
George Chang ; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109 ; Khawaja Shams ; John Callas ; Alex Kern

In 2010, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project became the first NASA mission to incorporate a public cloud into its daily mission-critical operations. Since then, the operators and scientists have experienced 100% availability on tactical plan saves, searches, and retrieval. MER has also pushed tactical data onto lower cost storage systems in the cloud environments, which continue to deliver cost savings, durability, and reliability. Our architecture, designed for high availability and graceful degradation, has raised the confidence in cloud computing. The next step in MER's journey to realize benefits from cloud computing is to incorporate next generation storage solutions into data backup and retention strategy. The Operations Storage System (OSS) on MER currently contains 21 TB of data, which includes both uplink and downlink data. The data is currently backed up on secondary and tertiary devices internally, with some geographical redundancy by keeping snapshots in Simi Valley, less than a hundred miles away from JPL. Storage solutions offered as cloud services include high availability, geographical redundancy, extensive durability, as well as fine grained access control mechanisms. Through novel encryption techniques, data are uploaded without ever introducing the key into the cloud environment. We discuss our approach to optimize the various parameters, minimum requirements, and the challenges we faced during implementation and deployment. Our current design backs up data on S3 (Simple Storage Service). We evaluate the implications of our design, development costs, and the realized savings for the mission. We share performance and data retention benchmarks, and we conclude with an outlook on applicability of our process and application on other missions.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

3-10 March 2012