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Boffins use Solaris to store the real Sun

Satellite image bank

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Space watchers at the University of Central Lancashire are using Solaris ZFS and Sun Fire storage to hold a burgeoning stack of close-up pics of the real Sun.

UCLan became a university in 1992, previously being the Lancashire Polytechnic. It was founded as the Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in 1828 by Joseph Livesey's Temperance Society. Said society was started by seven working men from Preston who swore to drink alcohol no more, a pledge unlikely to be obeyed by the current students and staff.

The uni is distributing NASA-supplied solar images from a new solar observation satellite designed to study the Sun and solar activity. It takes 80 shots a minute, each and every day, and sends the resulting 1.5TB of image data to NASA, which sends it on to UCLan, which in turn makes it available to the UK solar scientific community.

The images are stored on Sun Fire X4540 storage hardware using Solaris and the ZFS file system. It can currently store 144TB of data, and images will be deleted on a rolling three-month schedule to accommodate the new ones arriving every day. This system was designed, installed and configured by OCF, a UK-based high-performance computing and storage integrator. ®

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