SD Supercomputer Center Processes Red-lining Data

The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego will be using clustered storage from Caringo as part of a project to bring red-lining grids to UC campuses. The implementation has started with a CAStor clustered storage pool that is initially tasked with archiving The Redlining Archives of California's Exclusionary Spaces (T-RACES). The project brings the history of red-lining from the shelves of the National Archives and puts it online in digital format.

Redlining began in the 1930s when maps were created by the federal government to deny people loans or insurance based solely on the neighborhoods where they lived.

The T-RACES project will be one of the first to utilize the new Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Grid, a cyber-infrastructure initiative organized by the UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI). It will eventually provide researchers across all UC campuses with shared access to historical documents and other information dating back more than 70 years.

"When designing a project of this scale that will be used across UC campuses, we had to consider a storage infrastructure that would be highly scalable and easy to use," said Richard Marciano, director of SDSC's Sustainable Archives and Library Technologies Lab. "There is a lot of interest in interoperability between storage infrastructures, and we have found a way to cross-register the red-lining content and CAStor. CAStor's ease of local replication, storage-policy based retention, and wide-area replication through sets of rules makes it very flexible and attractive."

UC researchers will use the Caringo archive as primary storage and keep all data--including maps, interviews, financial documents, and detailed city surveys from the 1930s and 1940s--on a single tier of storage. CAStor software virtualizes storage across internal disks to provide a "flat" address space.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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