Researchers in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz are partnering with leaders in the data storage industry to establish the Center for Research in Storage Systems (CRSS), a new Industry/University Cooperative Research Center at UCSC supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The new center will address the growing challenges of storing and managing massive amounts of electronic data, building on a decade of excellence in the Storage Systems Research Center at UCSC. Current funding for the new center totals $465,000 per year, with industry sponsors providing most of the funding for the center's research activities. CRSS sponsors include EMC, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, IBM, LSI, NetApp, Permabit, Samsung, and SanDisk.

"The industry sponsors have been impressed with research results delivered by UCSC. The research is highly relevant to the future of storage systems. We look forward to continuing our sponsorship, and working with the NSF, through the CRSS," said Brian McKean of NetApp, who chairs the CRSS Industry Advisory Board.

UC Santa Cruz has been a leader in storage systems research for many years, and faculty in UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering have longstanding relationships with the storage industry.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership with technology leaders in data storage and management," said CRSS director and professor of computer science Ethan Miller. "For over a decade, we have been conducting high-quality, state-of-the-art research in big data management, archival storage, metadata and provenance, deduplication and grouping, and management of next-generation non-volatile memory and disk devices, and we will be expanding our research to new areas including genomic data storage and energy-aware storage."

Storage devices with capacities of several terabytes (1 terabyte = 1,000 gigabytes) are now familiar to consumers, while large-scale data storage platforms on the order of petabytes (1 petabyte = 1,000 terabytes) have become common and exabyte (1,000 petabytes) storage platforms are on the horizon.

As "big data" moves from today's petabyte storage platforms to tomorrow's exabyte platforms, the critical issues are performance, scalability, and reliability. CRSS will conduct research in storage systems to enable not only the construction of large-scale data centers, but also the development of tools to manage the vast amounts of data necessary to make exascale computing a reality.

"The NSF I/UCRC Program is pleased that UC Santa Cruz has successfully brought researchers from the university and companies together to establish a Center for Research in Storage Systems. The research results of this interaction should have a significant impact on advancing the state of the art in information storage," said NSF consultant and former program director Alex Schwarzkopf.

The NSF's Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) Program supports partnerships between universities and industry featuring high-quality, industrially relevant fundamental research, strong industrial support of and collaboration in research and education, and direct transfer of university-developed ideas, research results, and technology to U.S. industry to improve its competitive posture in world markets. Through innovative education of talented graduate and undergraduate students, the I/UCRCs are providing the next generation of scientists and engineers with a broad, industrially oriented perspective on engineering research and practice.