Data Services Newsletter

Volume 9 : No 2 : June 2007

IRIS DMC Offsite Backup and Restore Facility Reaches a Milestone

The IRIS DMC recently completed an important phase of construction of their offsite backup and restore facility. The purpose of this project is to provide a complete live offsite data backup, as well as to provide a fully functional facility if there were some sort of disaster in Seattle that rendered the DMC unusable, such as a large earthquake or fire. The the majority of the capitalization of this project was provided by the NSF EarthScope Project and most of the ongoing operation and maintenance costs will come from the NSF EAR Instrumentation and Facilities subaward to IRIS.

Photo of the Socorro, New Mexico system
Figure 1: Photo of the IRIS-PASSCAL tape library system recently
installed in Socorro, New Mexico.

For the first few months, all the equipment for this facility was located in Seattle to facilitate setup, data transcription, and testing. The first order of business was the transcription of all our data holdings into the SL500 tape library. This took roughly 5 months to complete, and the process went smoothly. At the same time, the backup Oracle Database server was integrated into the new network environment. All other servers were setup with their operating systems, and preliminary operating environments, including web service, FTP service, mail service, naming and time service, and realtime data service.

Once the transcription was complete, plans were made for the move to the IRIS-PASSCAL facility in Socorro NM. All the tapes from the SL500 library were removed and boxed up, and all the servers and associated equipment were repackaged in their original packing materials and palleted for moving. I then traveled to Socorro, and spent a week there building the site from the ground up. The final configuration consists of 2 SL500 tape libraries, and one equipment rack with all the networking equipment, firewall, and servers. It all fit into PASSCAL’s server room, although it is a tight fit! Other than a few not altogether unexpected snags, the installation went fairly smoothly.

Now this project moves onto the next phase, which is the full integration of supported services into the DMC Socorro servers, and creating the processes to keep everything synchronized between sites. The process for testing the site will also be developed, and at some future date we will begin periodic fail-over tests.

I would like to extend a hearty thank you to all the folks at PASSCAL, who assisted me in many ways, and made me feel right at home.

by Rick Braman (IRIS Data Management Center)

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