Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) monitors weather and meteorological conditions across Germany. In addition to providing weather services for the general public, DWD collaborates with national and worldwide environmental research institutes and organizations to assist in solving global challenges, such as identifying alternative energy sources, maintaining air quality, and improving disaster and water management. DWD also provides a range of climatology services, including analytical and evaluation services, expert reports, specialized forecasts, and it provides weather information systems. Each year, DWD generates 90,000 weather forecasts, 20,000 warnings and 500,000 aviation meteorological reports, based on data from 2,000 national weather stations and observational data from all over the world.
DWD’s headquarters collects measured weather data from meteorological information systems across Germany. Each day, its data systems receive 30 terabytes of new data, which must be accessible at all times to accurately predict weather events and provide information for science and research. A long-time user of Oracle’s StorageTek tape drives, DWD needed a reliable storage system to expand its infrastructure so it could efficiently handle and manage its massive data influx.
To meet its goals, DWD deployed Oracle’s StorageTek modular library systems and tape drives and StorageTek Automated Cartridge System Library Software (ACSLS), as well as Oracle’s SPARC Enterprise servers and Oracle Solaris. These systems store forecast data and the data DWD collects from other weather stations.
The flexibility of the StorageTek library system enabled DWD to replace older components with newer modules while continuing to operate, without interrupting the system’s ability to handle incoming weather data. Further, DWD optimized the storage system’s performance by running StorageTek Automated Cartridge System Library Software on Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 servers with Oracle Solaris 10.
As a long-time StorageTek user, DWD chose Oracle because it could easily integrate its existing system with a new StorageTek environment. DWD selected Oracle Solaris 10 because the system’s modules are specifically tailored to work with StorageTek SL8500’s components, ultimately ensuring high reliability and performance since all the organization’s data is maintained in a single source.
“For our highly-demanding data storage needs, we use proven and tested Oracle technology. We believe that the StorageTek SL8500 is a modular and expandable library system that represents the best technology available in the market,” said Dr. Henning Weber, head of system support, Deutscher Wetterdienst.
Furthermore, StorageTek tape and library solutions help DWD to reduce costs. Due to the new system’s backwards compatibility, DWD can continue using its 13,000 existing tape cartridges in the new library modules, saving the organization US$1.3 million in replacement costs. If DWD had chosen another vendor, it would also have had to copy the entire existing data stock to the new system. This process would have taken approximately 12 months and required significant additional resources, since the old and new systems would have had to run side-by-side during the migration to avoid interrupting key weather data storage operations.
The StorageTek tape and library solution also delivers high storage density and requires only a small amount of data center space. Because the size of DWD’s data center is limited, the new solution had to be large in storage capacity but physically small. Other solutions did not meet DWD’s capacity requirements within the restrictions on the physical footprint.