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Scientists Built the 'Hubble Telescope For the Ocean' Using the Cloud

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the water,-the-not-quite-final-frontier dept.

Cloud 36

New submitter stacey7165 writes "VMware shared the application architecture story of how they worked with the Ocean Observatory Initiative to build a 'Hubble Telescope' of the ocean. It's comprised of a massive network of global, regional, and coastal sensors that send information to a common framework called the Common Operating Infrastructure (COI). The COI resides in a hybrid cloud powered by VMware and Amazon. To cope with a total of 49 classes and over 700 instruments deployed off of 6 coastlines, and a variety of consumption use cases, the Ocean Observatory Initiative built out the system using a variety of sub-systems loosely coupled through a messaging system powered by RabbitMQ called an 'Exchange.' Organized into a system where message clients pubsub from 'Exchange Points' and 'Exchange Spaces', the system is easier to maintain, extend, and scale. According to the OOI's documentation on release 1, the Integrated Observatory Network uses AMQP 0.9.1 and RabbitMQ-Server v. 2.3.1 on CentOS 5.5."

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36 comments

*700* instruments off *6* different coastlines?!?! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305107)

I can't even IMAGINE that kind of scale. It's almost humanly impossible to conceive of handling that much data input with a mere computational device. Why, it must take an army of bright young men just to replace vacuum tubes in such a beast each day! Truly a miracle of American technology, know-how, and gumption! Let us see the Bolshevik match THAT!

Re:*700* instruments off *6* different coastlines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41306033)

While integrated data analysis can be amazing to work with in many fields, and having a data store and processing that is well organized is miles ahead of working with a poorly designed data store ... this seems like a lot for the sake of marketing or just overkill. Having worked on various plasma physics experiments, they need to relay and display data from as many sensors on a shorter time scale, and it was simpler than this.

Re:*700* instruments off *6* different coastlines? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41306087)

Dude...
They said Hubble, Cloud, application Architecture and COI in the same paragraph. Drop your pants and suck VMwares dick immediately. They have buzz-worded you into submission.

Re:*700* instruments off *6* different coastlines? (1)

Kennric (22093) | about a year and a half ago | (#41306297)

8 terabytes per day, according to TFA. Add the ability to effectively query, slice, dice and present that much data on a long-term basis... yeah, that's a hell of a lot of vacuum tubes.

For comparison, the LHC does upwards of 27TB/day[1], Hubble 3-5[2].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LHC_Computing_Grid [wikipedia.org]
[2] http://hubblesite.org/the_telescope//hubble_essentials/ [hubblesite.org]

Re:*700* instruments off *6* different coastlines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41306445)

~700 instruments, running 24/7, generating an aggregate of 8 terabytes per day means each instrument is generating about 142KB PER SECOND!

"You're Doing It Wrong!"

Re:*700* instruments off *6* different coastlines? (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#41307407)

Well, looking at the actual instruments, things like hydrophones, pressure sensors, broadband seismometers, and such, what instruments actual generate that bandwidth? I just don't see it. Seems to me that they're at least a couple of orders of magnitude off.

Cloud is gay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305141)

I fucked CmdrTaco's ass with my 13-inch long, 3-inch diameter penis.

Re:Cloud is gay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41306243)

Yes, people often confuse inches with centimeters...

Better luck next time.

Using the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305177)

They made an ocean-scanning telescope using nothing but clouds?!??!?

HOLY SHIT THEY'RE AIRBENDERS!

bait, hook and sinker (1)

bmimatt (1021295) | about a year and a half ago | (#41305241)

Hopefully, as scientists, they know that their 'cloud' is only as resilient as the underlying hardware, regardless of number of OS instances running on it. 

Re:bait, hook and sinker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41306105)

And that's different from when you buy all the hw and infrastructure yourself, to run instances on. Right?

Re:bait, hook and sinker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41307571)

Everybody repeat:

There is no such thing as The Cloud. It is all marketing drivel for people too stupid to understand the Internet.

Re:bait, hook and sinker (1)

camg188 (932324) | about a year and a half ago | (#41311981)

Furthermore, Mediafire (referenced in earlier /. stories) is not "the cloud", it's a file hosting web site.

And while I feel a rant brewing, router manufacturers need to stop using "5G" to describe wireless network speeds.

No quarter asked and none given. (-1, Offtopic)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#41305247)

The temptation to misuse this system to spy on girls in the locker room must be terrible. You poor men.

Re:No quarter asked and none given. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305963)

There is a special place in hell for people who mod down comedy.

Cool specs, but hubble? (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41305251)

Cool specs, but the real entertainment is trying to figure out how its like the :

'Hubble Telescope'

Do they mean the equations to design it were wrong and not tested to save money?

Or they mean the transport machine that installs and services it has been decommissioned?

It makes pictures?

Its gyros burn out on a regular basis (disclaimer, I've not been tracking this for years)

Ah they must mean its just one machine a single observational instrument. Oh that contradicts the whole rest of the write up.

Um... its a 1980s hardware design?

Oh no wait I know, it costs a billion dollars each time it's serviced, whereas it would only cost a quarter that to build another and launch it on a non-reusable booster. Yeah that must be it.

Re:Cool specs, but hubble? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#41305525)

I think they mean "it generates data that can be used to generate pretty grand scale pictures" portion of hubble. ..is it actually hosted on the cloud and uses multiple machines though?

Re:Cool specs, but hubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305537)

This network is as significant to our ability to observe the ocean as the Hubble was to our ability to observe the universe. Considering this network is composed of a diverse variety of proprietary and non-interoperable parts, maintanence and scalibility seem to have driven its design since its inception.

Re:Cool specs, but hubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41330561)

Given the comments our us of Hubble as an analogue is clear too obtuse. Hopefully the following provides some clarification. The use of Hubble to describe the OOI is grounded in two core similarities.

1) The use of a coordinated array (network) of sensors to synthesize one or more aggregate observations of an environment. This practice is utilized in astronomy, high energy physics, seismology, etc. In all of these examples the sensor array plays the same role as the optical collector in the commonly conceived telescope. The software behind these sensor networks used to collect, aggregate and synthesize the high order observation have become a significant component of the capability and differentiation of a wide variety of current observing systems. In the case of OOI, the array of sensors deployed is significantly more diverse than sensor arrays deployed to date. The OOI comprises 86 independent instrument platforms of 14 separate configuration types that integrate 771 independent instruments of 47 different types. This network produces 1500+ independent data products; each of which comprises a vector of several (10) independent variables per sample. NSF's NEON environmental observatory has a comparable level of diversity on observing capability.

2) Provide independent research teams the ability to plan, propose, configure, deploy and control separate science missions over the sensor array infrastructure. This capability is provided by the same mission planning and control software developed by NASA for the EO-1 space missions. This software accounts resource capabilities, current capacity limitation, failure detection and response, and priority coordination of all resources under and across missions. The Hubble telescope provides this same capability of plan, proposing and executing independent science mission to the research community.

Re:Cool specs, but hubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41330599)

The above posting was submitted by Matthew Arrott, Project Manager for the OOI Cyberinfrastructure. This is my first posting to slashdot; I did not see the "by Anonymous Coward" until after the submission was complete - pretty funny.

Microsoft driven. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305303)

So how will they get past Microsoft's copyright on "Exchange"?

BinGo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305389)

I think I have hit buzzword bingo! where's my prize ?

Re:BinGo! (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#41305625)

exactly my first thought, it looked like a bunch of corporate buzzwords and clickbait. Did a actual person write this or a HR/marketing troll?

Why was the cloud called into action for this? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41305491)

Because they can, the CEO's (Internets, serious business! lads) love it and it's the fashionable thing to do.

Not because the aging Dell in a forgotten corner of the office is perfectly capable of handling the input from 700 measily sensors. For only $xx.99/mo you can cloudify it, CEO's will be 500% more impressed than if you pointed to a Dell in the forgotten corner because the cloud is so abstract, so future, so new and some annoying sales grunt from a cloud provider with a nasally American accent already convinced all the CEO's their organisation is incapable of running a server thats any bit reliable.

Re:Why was the cloud called into action for this? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41308873)

For only $xx.99/mo you can cloudify it, CEO's will be 500% more impressed than if you pointed to a Dell in the forgotten corner because the cloud is so abstract, so future, so new and ...

What if somebody trips on the power cord [xkcd.com] ?

WTF really "the Cloud" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305627)

I understand people with little computer knowledge using the term cloud, but really can we stop using that stupid marketing term someone got from a flow chart.

It uses the internet maybe, but nothing uses "the cloud" as "the cloud" is just an abstract idea for marketing purposes.

Never trust water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41305679)

I don't know if you guys know this, but advanced civilizations are easily destroyed by small amounts of water. Pls see this link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286106/ Stay away from oceans and clouds, ... and M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong movies.

Comprised of? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41307791)

Seriously, its not that hard:

Parts comprise a whole.

The whole is composed of the parts.

Do words mean anything any more? (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41307941)

VMware shared the application architecture story of how they worked with the Ocean Observatory Initiative to build a 'Hubble Telescope' of the ocean.

Apparently you can build telescopes out of software now. No need for expensive optics.

It's comprised of a massive network of global, regional, and coastal sensors that send information to a common framework called the Common Operating Infrastructure (COI).

No it's not. It might comprise that though, but it's still not a telescope.

But can it detect a Russian submarine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41313517)

Cant it detect a Russian submarine [dailymail.co.uk] at US shores?

Hubble? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year and a half ago | (#41313613)

I know VMware is well known for the vacuous and unintelligible products of its marketing department but this one really has to take the cake. How does this software/hardware deployment even remotely resemble the Hubble space telescope? How can this "cotton candy" style marketing actually be effective? Who could possible be willing to waste their time consuming such a large puffball of words for a few grains of substance? And again, how the hell does this resemble the Hubble space telescope?
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