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NC State's Hunt Library Ramps Up Storage and Computing Infrastructure

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University's (NCSU) Centennial Campus will implement a scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) solution for its private cloud, virtual desktop, and virtual server infrastructure. The new technology is intended to support data investigation, large-scale visualization and graphic-intensive applications, immersive simulation environments, and interactive cloud computing.

When the Hunt Library opened in early 2013, one of its core goals was "to provide a new type of technologically immersive space where collaboration and creativity would be encouraged to flourish," said Susan K. Nutter, vice provost and director of the NCSU libraries, in a prepared statement.

To help meet that goal, the library will implement Isilon scale-out NAS solutions from EMC Corporation. According to information on the EMC site, the EMC Isilon solutions offer more than 20 petabytes of storage per cluster and "massive scalability" and will help the library curate large data-sets for multi-institutional projects.

Projects that have already made use of the library's computing power include:

  • A powerfully realistic simulator to train ROTC midshipmen to operate the bridge of modern naval vessels;
  • 3-D recreation of St. Paul's Cross during John Donne 's tenure at the cathedral to demonstrate the impact of 17th-century sermons as they were actually delivered;
  • Sophisticated student-created video games inspired by the University's acclaimed Digital Games Research Center;
  • Virtual crime scene simulations; and
  • Visualizations that explore the mobility of materials through cell walls.

With this implementation, EMC Corporation becomes a founding platinum member of the Hunt Library "Powered By" Technology Partnerships Program. Platinum partners are those who contribute $100,000 or more in grants, sponsorships, or hardware to the library. The project is part of EMC's Information Heritage Initiative, "which works to protect and preserve the world's information for future generations and make it globally accessible in digital form for research and education purposes," according to information from the company.

Further information about the EMC Isilon scale-out NAS solutions can be found at emc.com.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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