Faster flow from Sun and Boeing

Boeing and Sun Microsystems Federal plan to launch an open architecture that will enable organisations to collect, process and store massive amounts of data at extremely high speed.

Capable of processing more than 10 gigabits of data per second, the joint solution is designed to foster data analysis, sharing and decision making for a variety of markets, including life science, energy, and aerospace. Ten gigabits per second is equivalent to processing 250 copies of the complete works of Shakespeare or 125 chest x-rays in one second.

‘More and more organisations need a computing architecture that enables real-time access to data at speeds of 10 gigabits per second,’ said Evan Harrigan, principal engineer at Sun Microsystems. ‘Sun and Boeing have designed an architecture that provides both real-time access and redundancy, eliminating a single point of failure.’

The architecture is said to address the computing demands of several data-intensive tasks, including: operational intelligence and surveillance, epidemic trend analysis and prediction, failure analysis of aircraft and ships, predictive traffic management, weather and ocean forecasting, and virtual design.

Target applications for the 10-gigabit technology include experimental analyses and simulations in scientific disciplines such as high-energy physics, climate modelling, earthquake engineering, astronomy, human genomics and the development of nano-scale electronic devices. In such applications, massive datasets must be shared by a community of hundreds or thousands of researchers distributed worldwide.

These researchers need to be able to transfer large subsets of these datasets to local sites or other remote resources for processing. The success and continued proliferation of such advanced data sharing depends heavily on high-performance data acquisition, transfer and storage for real-time data collection, processing, visualisation and simulation.

Leveraging open standards for the new architecture enables fast connections to external sources of data, allowing the architecture to be re-used across organisations and industries while reducing technology investments.

The Boeing and Sun team says it has successfully tested, integrated and tuned this high performance and highly reliable architecture, making it an industry first to meet real time data collection requirements with a standard commercial-off-the-shelf solution.