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Data Products and Infrastructure

NEX uses the state-of-the-art supercomputing facility at NASA Ames Research Center’s Advanced Supercomputing (NAS). All NAS computing components are protected within a secure enclave and can only be accessed by authenticated users through the secure front ends (SFEs). Prospective users funded by NASA may request access to the computing facility used by NEX at no additional cost. To request access, click here

The NAS facility currently maintains several large scale computing systems: Pleiades, Aitken, Electra, Endeavour, and Merope. Pleiades, one of the flagship systems manufactured by SGI/HPE, is a distributed-memory cluster connected with InfiniBand in a dual-plane hypercube technology. The system is composed of several types of Intel processors and currently has over 11,000 nodes. The Lustre filesystems, which are highly scalable shared filesystems, can support many thousands of client nodes, petabytes of storage, and have hundreds of gigabytes per second of I/O throughput. The NEX filesystems are used to store many of the datasets within the datapools and for general user storage. For longer-term storage and backups, a mass storage system using a Spectra Logic tape storage archive that is currently one exabyte in size (2020), and a parallel Data Migration Facility (DMF) system provide high speed bandwidth for data transfers between disks and tapes. The NAS maintains a high-speed network (NASLAN), which is connected to several high-speed networks with 10Gb/s peering to the NASA Integrated Communications Services (NICS), Internet2, and the Consortium for Educational Networks in California (CENIC) and more. More detailed information about the computing facility can be found on the NAS website here.

Many standard tools, libraries and utilities are provided on the NAS systems, these are usually managed and made accessible via modules or packages. Users can find more information here and/or reach out to for assistance.

NEX Data

NEX stages large Earth observation datasets such as MODIS, Landsat, VIIRS, GOES, Sentinel-2 and others on high-throughput POSIX-based file systems at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility. All data can be accessed from the /nex/datapool/ directory. Research teams may request datasets to be rotated into the datapools as needed, depending on available storage. Teams are also encouraged to share community-generated datasets and results to promote cross-collaboration and reduce the overall burden for teams to execute on future work.