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Geoscience Australia considers cloud for data processing

Australia: Geoscience Australia (GA) is closely monitoring cloud computing to fulfil its growing processing demands, itnews.com.au reported. This report is based-on 2010-11 Strategic Review report released by the Department of Finance (DOF), Australia.

According to the DOF report, the agency is using approximately 3,000 applications to manage more than two petabytes of geospatial data on behalf of other public and private sector organisations. GA will also closely monitor cloud computing for processing and modelling information, for which it currently used internal server clusters and National Computational Infrastructure supercomputing facilities.

At present, the data has been stored on a two-petabyte IBM nearline storage system and 300 terabytes of tiered storage from Hitachi Data Systems, designed to scale up to at least 50 petabytes if required.

The DOF report recommended the establishment of a single, whole-of-government geospatial policy centre to reduce data duplication and direct the creation, procurement and management of data.

Although GA had a five-person Office of Spatial Data Management, DOF found that whole-of-government arrangements had not been actively developed for the past decade.

“The Office of Spatial Data Management as it is presently configured is not well placed to manage a whole-of-government policy or investment framework on spatial data,” report authors wrote.

“There is merit in a policy department assuming responsibility for whole-of-government coordination and management of spatial data, with GA continuing to provide e and data support as appropriate.”

Overall, Finance believed GA’s activities to be “underpinned by a sound business case”; however, it called for the development of a more cohesive set of Key Performance Indicators, noting that current indicators were overly “broad and general”.

Source: www.itnews.com.au