IBM supports German research center DESY to storage of x-ray data

Enterprise IT vendor IBM will support German research center Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) to speed up management and storage of x-ray data.

The company said the Big Data and Analytics architecture based on IBM software defined technology is expected to handle more than 20 gigabyte per second of data at peak performance and help scientists gain insights into the atomic structure of novel semiconductors, catalysts, biological cells and other samples.

DESY’s 1.7 mile-long PETRA III accelerator, a microscope, speeds up electrically charged particles to nearly 186,000 miles per second and sends them through a magnetic slalom course to generate better x-ray radiation that is used by more than 2,000 scientists each year to examine the internal structure of a variety of materials with atomic resolution.

Storing and handling huge volumes of X-ray data is a big challenge for DESY.

“A typical detector generates a data stream of about 5 Gigabit per second. At PETRA III we do not have just one detector, but 14 beamlines equipped with many detectors, and they are currently being extended to 24. All this Big Data must be stored and handled reliably,” said Volker Gulzow, head of DESY IT.

DESY is addressing this Big Data challenge with the help of IBM Research and IBM Software Defined Storage technology code name Elastic Storage that can scale to store and handle more than 20 Gigabyte of data flowing every second from PETRA III.

IBM said Elastic Storage can provide scientists with high-speed access to increasing volumes of research data. This architecture will allow DESY to develop an open ecosystem for research and offer analysis-as-a-service and cloud solutions to its users worldwide.

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