The Computational Laboratory


This lab is composed of a large-scale data storage system, computers, software and a data portal. The OSCER provides technical and system support for the operation of the CEOM Computational Laboratory. The OSCER also operates the PetaStore (petabyte storage and archive system) at OU, and the CEOM is a member of the PetaStore and has additional capacity for data storage, repository and preservation.

1. Computer servers

The CEOM has 14 computer servers: six for storage servers, two for web servers (internal and external web service), one for ArcGIS servers, and six for computational servers. Two of the storage servers are Dell Poweredge 2950s, each with two quad core 2.33GHz Intel E5410 processors, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 3 x 146 gigabyte Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) local hard drives in a RAID5 configuration. They are both double attached to the Storage Area Network (SAN) via Qlogic 2462 dual channel Host Bus Adapters (HBAs). Four of the storage servers are Poweredge 720XD’s. They have four Quad core E5-2650 CPU’s, 24TB of local storage, 128GB RAM and 10GB Ethernet adapters. They are connected to an Isilon storage system that provides an additional 293TB of storage via the 10gig Ethernet. The eight computer servers are Dell Poweredge 1950s, each with two quad core 2.33GHz Intel E5410 processors, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 3 x 146 gigabyte SAS local hard drives in a RAID5 configuration. 10 servers mentioned above run RedHat Enterprise Linux version 5.2 as their operating system and are attached to OU's network at 1 Gigabit/second. One server runs Window system for ArcGIS.

2. The data center

The CEOM has space in two data centers on Research campus with a SAN-attached mass storage system of 500 Terabytes in a RAID6 (8+2) configuration from Data Direct Networks S2A9900. The S2A9900 is a dual controller specifically designed for high performance computing (HPC). The storage area network (SAN) consists of a dual 8-Gbps fibre channel (FC) fabric with 96 ports in each fabric. Each fabric is comprised of one 80-port Brocade 5300 8-Gbps FC switch and one Brocade 16-port Brocade 200E switch. This enables each host to be dual-connected to the SAN for high availability and greater performance. In the other datacenter there is an Isilon storage system that provides an additional 293TB of storage from three Isilon NL400’s that are interconnected with infiniband networking and then the filesystem is networked to the compute servers via 10gig Ethernet and also 1gig Ethernet depending on which datacenter the server is in.

Architecure Image

3. Image processing and GIS software

25-seat lab licenses of IDL/ENVI, 5-licenses of ERDAS Imagine, ESRI ArcGIS, statistics packages (R, Matlab), and Python

"4 The data portal ( and web service

>The data center hosts a number of global datasets of climate, satellite images, population, land cover, agriculture and forests, including the citizen science “Global Geo-Referenced Field Photo Library ( The data portal ( provides a number of web services to users, including automated data inventory, query, visualization and distribution to the users. The web-based applications were developed from open source software and tools, including PostgresSQL, PostGIS, MapServer, OGC standard WMS/WFS/WCS, and GDAL (Geospatial data abstraction library), and OGR simple feature library. The data portal is largely written with Python, PHP, and HTML scripting languages.> 

5. Other Computational resources available at the University of Oklahoma

>The OU Supercomputing Center for Education and Research (OSCER) has a high-performance supercomputer with 536 compute nodes (quad core CPU), which is available to all faculty and students in OU. The OSCER also has the PetaStore facility with a capacity of multiple petabyte storage system (both tapes and disks). The PetaStore facility was established with a NSF Major Research Instrument (MRI) grant in 2010 “(Acquisition of extensible Petascale storage for data intensive research, OCI-1039829, 10/01/2010 – 09/31/2013) and supports long-term data archive. Dr. Xiao is a Co-PI for the NSF MRI grant and has access to the PetaStore facility. The specific equipment is (a) an IBM DCS9900 disk system (rebranded DataDirect Networks S2A9900) of 1200 disk drive slots, expandable to at least 1.7 PB usable at current disk drive capacity (e.g., 2 TB SATA 7200 RPM disk drive), and (b) an IBM TS3500 tape library of 4 LTO-5 tape drives (560 MB/sec peak throughput) and 2889 tape cartridge slots (expandable to over 4 PB at LTO-5).>