New data system funded by $6 million grant

Reanna Zuniga

A $6 million grant will go to the Texas Advanced Computing Center at UT and its partners to fund the development and production of Wrangler — a new data analysis and management system for the national open science community.

The computing system is scheduled for production in January 2015 and has already been designed in principle, according to Jay Boisseau, the director of the computing center. Boisseau said Wrangler’s storage system will be large enough to store hundreds of national research projects in a safe and reliable way. Indiana University, a partner in the project, will have a replica of the storage system so researchers will able to access data from both.

“[Wrangler] will be the most replicated, secure storage [system] for the national open science community,” said Dan Stanzione, the deputy director at the computing center. “Wrangler will be one of the highest performance data analysis systems ever deployed.”

Boisseau said once the system is running, any researchers from any university or government labs can access it. He said Wrangler will be free to those who apply and compete for use of the system and said he hopes UT researchers will use it frequently.

“We hope that UT will embrace and play a large role in the sciences that develop,” Boisseau said. “We’re very excited to get a chance to represent the saying ‘What starts here changes the world.’”

Dell Inc. and DSDD Inc. are partners of the computing center for this project.

“Not all the technology for the system has been developed yet,” Boisseau said. “The two partners are crafting the system on site so it can go into production in early 2015.”

However, Boisseau said the computing center is the leader in the project because it has the high-end analysis site.

“We’re showing leadership in creating the most capable storage system with a unique analysis system,” he said. “We hope this will help establish TACC as a leader in the data intensive sciences.”

The National Science Foundation granted the initial $6 million award for the deployment of Wrangler, but Boisseau said representatives of the center made a request for an additional $6 million after the production of the system. He said the funds will be split by the partners contributing to the development of the system.

Bob Chadduck, from the National Science Foundation directorate’s division of advanced cyber infrastructure, said Wrangler advances the vision to tackle complex data-intensive challenges and problems.

“The National Science Foundation is proud to support the community-accessible, data-focused resources to advance science, engineering and education,” Chadduck said.