Bigdipper is a Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 Server that acts as the long term storage server for ARSC academic computational resources.



The system is configured as follows:

  • 4- 8-core T2+ CoolThread processors (32 cores total)
  • 1.4 GHz clock frequency
  • 128 GB memory
  • Sun Storage 6780 Array, with 125 TB of general disk cache
  • Data Direct Networks S2A 8500, used for caching small files
  • 5- FC8 dual port cards
  • 2- 10 gigabit ethernet cards


Bigdipper provides long term mass storage for user data at ARSC. The system is connected to tape drives in the automated tape library. Together with the library, bigdipper has a capacity of 7 petabytes (7,000 TB). This storage capacity is complemented by bigdipper's 214 TB of local disk cache, which allows users to keep large amounts of data staged from tape for long periods of time. Users have a small, quota-limited home directory and an archive directory. Other file systems are available for special purpose applications and groups.

The server's disks are either mirrored or configured as a RAID with multiple paths to ensure that failure of any single disk or control/data path is unlikely to interrupt access to data. The large number of accessible tape drives ensures that a failure of any one drive will not prevent access to the data. Incoming user data from both inside and outside of ARSC are received through 10 GE adaptors, allowing users to archive their results quickly.


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