Geoscience Australia signs agreement on new information storage

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Canberra - 29 May 2008: Geoscience Australia signed a contract today with business technology solutions providers, IBM Australia and Tardis Services, to provide and support a robotic Archive and Data Delivery System.

The system is designed to handle large data sets in a secure and compact storage environment. Users of Geoscience Australia’s data should be able to obtain data and information more rapidly using this system.

Funded as part of Geoscience Australia’s Energy Security Program, the robotic system will be installed and operating by the end of this year.

Geoscience Australia’s vast historic and contemporary national knowledgebase of petroleum exploration data is fundamental to assessing Australia’s hydrocarbon reserves and resources and is central to the pre-competitive regional studies made available to industry to stimulate exploration in frontier areas.

Currently, the data is held on a variety of media occupying several kilometres of shelf space. The new robotic system, which is not dissimilar to a 21st Century juke box, will make retrieval of this information much faster.

The system is the heart of a total strategy utilising IBM’s Scale out File Service (SoFS) which is a managed service that will ensure Geoscience Australia has long-term availability to IBM expertise and assistance.

The Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Australia, Dr Neil Williams said the IBM solution would provide quick access to massive amounts of publicly available data from a secure location.

“This solution will provide a common data management platform which has the potential to support data well beyond the petroleum repository to include additional information such as Geoscience Australia’s satellite imagery archive,” Dr Williams said.

“We’re talking about petabytes of data which represents 1000s of terabytes and billions of megabytes,” he said.

IBM’s Brendan Hawke said that as well as being compatible with Geoscience Australia’s existing infrastructure, the new storage and retrieval system allowed for a predicted doubling of datasets over the next ten years.

This would result in an increase from the initial 1.2 petabytes of data to 2.7 petabytes,” Mr Hawke said.

“It provides a sustainable repository to meet national needs, and will serve the country for many years to come,” he said.