back to article NZ Uni EMC broke considered ditching EMC before SNAFU

Oh, the irony: the New Zealand University that suffered a two-day brownout as a result of a problem with its EMC kit last month sought a possible replacement for the company's products. A request for information titled Storage Systems Refresh explains that “The University’s existing VNX5700’s storage arrays are reaching the …

WTF?

Whatever the outcome, the timing of the University's outage probably could not be any worse: if the Uni decides to ditch EMC, it won't be hard to see why it makes the decision. If it decides to stick with EMC, it can give the company's arm an almighty twist as the outage surely represents lovely leverage.

How can you possibly consider that the pinnacle of "worse" ...are you EMC's sales manager for Wellington or something?

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A poor choice of phrasing on the part of the author.

I suspect the intention is that the gear could have failed while on its way out the door, if it had lasted just a bit longer. Which certainly would have been a better time for it to fail. Admittedly, any time prior to that seems just as bad for a failure of such a scale. Or so it seems to me, unless I am missing some nuances.

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(Written by Reg staff)

No. But you raise a good point: we can all chortle at this stuff, but livelihoods are at risk.

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15% growth

The bit about adding 15% storage per annum is interesting as working at a Russell group University I see storage requirements/requests growing at a far greater rate.

For example as soon as you want to do full genomic comparisons of large groups or SPIM

(Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy) storage requests go through the roof.

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Re: 15% growth

It really depends what they are doing their research in, some faculties data requirements will expand slowly, others much faster.

It is just the HDS kit that is expanding at 15% per year, we do not know about the growth in demand for other kit.

Growth demand is highly manipulatable in an academic environment ;-)

Depending on how it is done, I suspect genome research can be amongst the more demanding fields data storage wise. Johns Hopkins' labours to map the human genome might as well have been in another world.

Also, years ago when there were punitive import duties and taxes on computer equipment, NZ developed the knack of getting a quart out of a pint pot, computing-wise. Folk used to come down from the States to see how hard tiny boxes were made to work. I'm sure everybody at Otago still chuckles at SCREAM.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Re: 15% growth

But just how much data can you generate studying sheep?

In or out of a vacuum.

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Bronze badge

Re: 15% growth

Well the sheep genome is done, but the move now is GBS, genotyping by sequencing since with barcoding you can now sequence multiple fragments in the same lane, so one per animal, or many SNPs per flock type of thing.

My youngest is currently engaged in a bioinfo PhD at Otago whilst being part time employed as a bioinformatician at Invermay and thus is involved in GBS projects for a number of species. Not sure if sheep are currently on her to do list, she was doing some sheep stuff a while ago.

Just like mess expands to fit the available space so data expands with technology. In my PhD at Otago I had a nifty device where a coloured marker pen fitted into a tube with a button at the top linked to a mechanical counter. Using different coloured pens I could count different myotube types without losing count across an entire muscle in huge physical photomontages of electron microscope pictures. Back then I even had to take the pictures by hand, winging the overlap by eye as the formvar on the slot grid supporting my section stretched under the beam. The film had to be loaded and the chamber evacuated for each film. I did have technical help to print the pictures and we did have an auto processing machine. The lab area outside my office had two shielded rooms (Faraday caged) for electrophysiology recordings) their roofs were below the rooms high stud and the space was used to store tightly rolled bundles of muscle montages.

As I was leaving after submitting they were installing a heat printer with a control which would montage your sample automatically. Now I bet I could count the profiles on a screen without having to print a damn thing. Increasing productivity and therefore data acquisition. Each montage was a subset of one point on a line graph or part of a bar on a bar graph.

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Anonymous Coward

The genome sequences of sheep breeds

...otherwise known as Baa-codes

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Is that all?

600 terabytes? Is that all?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is that all?

How many terabytes do you think they'd need to map the country's sheep population and record the collective plays of the All Blacks over the last 4 years?

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Bronze badge

Re: Is that all?

Less than hitherto. The National Sheep flock has declined from a high of 70million in the mid '70s to more like 40million now*. The All Blacks have been playing through all that period so the two together will constitute less information than before.

*many low level sheep farms have been converted to dairy since there is much more money in milk fat than meat and wool. In addition with the Ngai Tahu Treaty settlement and market rents on marginal high country farms many have been abandoned to nature thus further reducing ovine habitat.

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Are you implying a correlation between sheep migration and All Blacks plays?

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