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Oz Square Kilometre Array bid picks DataDirect for storage

Boffins pick Big Data specialists for exabyte-a-day array

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Australia's International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) has signed an agreement with DataDirect Networks to “develop the extraordinary new data storage capability” needed to cope with the Square Kilometre Array’s (SKA’s) expected exabyte-per-day output.

ICRAR’s head of computing Professor Andreas Wicenec said DataDirect Networks' big data pedigree convinced ICRAR it has the nous to do the colossal job.

The deal doesn’t mean that DataDirect Networks is over the line for the gig, largely because ICRAR hasn’t won the right to host the SKA. A decision is expected in April, when the SKA Board meets to choose between bids from Australia and New Zealand and South Africa.

But the choice of DDN is almost certainly a worry to other big data players, as it has a puny local presence compared to the likes of EMC, NetApp and IBM, all of which are eyeing off the SKA as a colossal global customer. ®

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