We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 19 October 2013 - 10:03 AM
Managing the Deluge of 'Big Data' From Space
For NASA and its dozens of missions, data pour in every day like rushing rivers. Spacecraft monitor everything from our home planet to faraway galaxies, beaming back images and information to Earth. All those digital records need to be stored, indexed and processed so that spacecraft engineers, scientists and people across the globe can use the data to understand Earth and the universe beyond.
At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., mission planners and software engineers are coming up with new strategies for managing the ever-increasing flow of such large and complex data streams, referred to in the information technology community as "big data."
How big is big data? For NASA missions, hundreds of terabytes are gathered every hour. Just one terabyte is equivalent to the information printed on 50,000 trees worth of paper.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001
The university where I work just went Petascale with its supercomputing abilities.
Heh... I'm still working with the first generation of 486s (8MB RAM, and 40MB HDD (taken from the older PC)) hooked to good ol' CAMAC...
But, when it comes to a bit more computing demanding work (simulations), 64GB (and fast) RAM looks pretty tiny from what I could wished for (:
Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
Zhoom! What was that? That was your life, Mate! Oh, that was quick. Do I get another? Sorry, Mate. That's your lot... Basil Fawlty (John Cleese).
If yesterday you would have stood up proud. Then why tonight have you thrown in with the stoning crowd? (Cradle of Filth) I'm dead drunk and heave' hanging upside down... (good ol' AC/DC).
Far be if for me to try to predict the future appearance of the labor force, but I don't know that I would recommend a career for anyone under genius level in IS. The computers are reaching the point they don't need support staff and ordinary untrained folk can use them.