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Data Access is Critical to Solving the World’s Big Problems

The HPC community focuses on solving some of the world's biggest problems. That means gathering and analyzing massive amounts of data.

Weather and satellite
Weather map with thermometer and satellite

Regardless of how you define ‘Big Problems,’ I think everyone can agree that the world has a lot of them. At the heart of solving any problem is understanding the issue, gathering and analyzing data, developing a solution, executing the plan, measuring the results, and then repeating that process until your problems are solved or your goals are achieved. Many of our customers and partners in the High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Research arenas focus on the world’s most challenging problems on a daily basis.

Real-World Examples

There is nothing like real-world examples to drive home the importance of technology in solving problems. Here are two that emphasize how organizations are using data to address issues that affect the future of our world.

Example 1: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

One recent example is how the Taiwan government and National Health Insurance (NHI) approached their response to COVID-19 as detailed in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The author provides an overview of how combining data from multiple sources and applying Big Data analytics, along with proactive steps such as quarantine, social distancing and testing, helped to mitigate the rapid spread of the coronavirus. At the foundation of this effort was the centralization of health records, immigration and customs information.

Example 2: UK Science & Technology Facilities Council Supports Researchers

Another example is how the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scientific Computing Department in the UK is providing supercomputing resources for climate and earth-system science communities. The project is called JASMIN and supports hundreds of science projects ranging from climate science, to oceanography, to air pollution, earthquake deformation and wildlife analysis. JASMIN provides researchers with cloud, hosted and batch computing and storage resources. JASMIN’s storage includes Caringo Swarm Object Storage software which was added to streamline management and data access. Storage and existing data sets are an important aspect of JASMIN since most of the data sets, particularly model data, are too big to be easily shipped around.

Real-World Success Stories

In both examples, the centralization of data, secure distributed access and the ability to run analytics and compute processes efficiently against these data sets is critical to success. For the Taiwan government, success meant mitigating the rapid spread of a pandemic. For STFC, success is expediting the time-to-discovery for the research organizations and project teams that are using the JASMIN supercomputing resources.

Both of these organizations are solving ‘Big Problems,’ and even though they have different approaches and are tackling different issues, consolidating data sets and providing secure access to authorized users and processes is a fundamental step critical to real-world success.

Learn More About How Technology Enables HPC to Solve the World’s Big Problems

On June 25, join us for our next Brews & Bytes Episode: Distributed Collaborators & Data…Solving the World’s Big Problems. This webcast will feature Rachana Ananthakrishnan, Head of Product, and Vas Vasiliadis, Chief Customer Officer, from Globus. Globus is a non-profit service for secure, reliable research data management. Eric Dey, Caringo Head of Product, and I will be with Rachana and Vas to discuss data storage, data access and collaboration challenges that those in the HPC and research space encounter. You can register now to attend the live event or to watch the webcast on demand.

Adrian Herrera
Adrian Herrera

About The Author

Adrian "AJ" Herrera has over 20 years of experience bringing innovative storage, cloud and media software and services to market. With an MBA from San Diego State University and a BS in Information Systems from Chapman University, AJ serves as Caringo's VP of Marketing.

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