Alexander S. Szalay, Jim Gray, and Jan Vandenberg
Science is becoming very data intensive 1 . Today’s astronomy datasets with tens of millions of galaxies already present substantial challenges for data mining. In less than 10 years the catalogs are expected to grow to billions of objects, and image archives will reach Petabytes. Imagine having a 100GB database in 1996, when disk scanning speeds were 30MB/s, and database tools were immature. Such a task today is trivial, almost manageable with a laptop. We think that the issue of a PB database will be very similar in six years. In this paper we scale our current experiments in data archiving and analysis on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey 2,3 data six years into the future. We analyze these projections and look at the requirements of performing data mining on such data sets. We conclude that the task scales rather well: we could do the job today, although it would be expensive. There do not seem to be any show-stoppers that would prevent us from storing and using a Petabyte dataset six years from today.
In SPIE Astronomy Telescopes and Instruments