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High Tech, High Up

September 21, 2017 - 3 Comments

Some things really are rocket science. Like the research astronomers are doing at the ALMA observatory in Chile. There’s only two of them though… on top of a mountain in the desert. Everyone else works in the processing center miles away. So, when ALMA needed an IT overhaul to support the data gathered from the stars, they had some very specific requirements. And our partner Dimension Data got to work.

Dimension Data says…

The world’s largest observatory ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), located in the Chilean Atacama Desert, needed their digital network infrastructure to withstand one of the most extreme environment on Earth – 5,000 meters above sea level.

The conditions are brutal. Cold, wind, snow, low humidity, and lack of oxygen. It’s a challenge to move data from the sixty-six 15m tall antennae through dedicated fiber optic links to the Operations Support Facility (OSF) 28k away and nearly 3000m closer to sea level. The OSF hosts a data center, state-of-the-art labs, offices and dormitories where more than 200 people work every day with the data from the observatory.

Using Cisco servers, software, and storage, we installed a robust and reliable digital network architecture that stores and transports data through high-speed networks. It works in real time from the telescope antennas to a supercomputer for processing. And also, a virtualization solution for routing and LAN capabilities.

This also gives ALMA greater operational efficiency and services without requiring people to climb a mountain or cross the desert.

Thanks, Dimension Data!

The story doesn’t stop there. Meet other Cisco partners helping customers around the world.

To see how ALMA works, check out Dimension Data’s video.

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  1. Great story! Fantastic application of the Dimension Data and Cisco partnership to achieve our client’s ambition and connect with the cosmos.

  2. Technology forces us to drop borders – the data managed miles away allows the customer to be on that mountain. Amazing partnership with Dimension Data.

  3. Amazing story about how Dimension Data and Cisco are helping scientists do research despite the rugged conditions.