February 3, 2014

Oregon State University has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to build an advanced IT infrastructure exclusively for high-performance scientific applications.

This infrastructure, commonly known as a Science DMZ, will include centralized storage architecture and a 40 Gbps network that will allow researchers to produce, analyze, and disseminate massive amounts of data. As such, it will help transform research in a wide variety of disciplines at OSU and improve the academic and professional development of graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and undergraduate researchers.

The grant was developed in collaboration between Information Services, the Center for Genome Research & Biocomputing (CGRB), and the College of Engineering.

"The infrastructure enabled by this grant will enable researchers associated with the CGRB to seamlessly access, store, integrate, and disseminate massive amounts of genomics, image, and environmental data," said Brett Tyler, Director of the CGRB. "Integration of gargantuan data sets is a growing feature of cutting edge research in the life and environmental sciences.

"For example, researchers at the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Lab are generating many terabytes of behavioral, physiological, and genomic data each week from zebra fish exposed to environmental pollutants; they will now be able to analyze these data on computing systems on campus and at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in real time, without having to mail or hand carry hard drives."

While the grant focuses on connecting OSU researchers to each other and their data, the Science DMZ will also create a platform capable of integrating with Internet2's Advanced Layer 2 Services for the dynamic establishment of dedicated research resources that span the nation. Thus, should an OSU researcher wish to collect massive amounts of data and then collaborate with colleagues at the University of North Carolina on data analysis, the Science DMZ will facilitate her colleagues' access to that data.

This research data flow diagram shows a conceptual infrastructure that includes the OSU Science DMZ. Click to enlarge.