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Proceedings Paper

Virtualization in network and servers infrastructure to support dynamic system reconfiguration in ALMA
Author(s): Tzu-Chiang Shen; Nicolás Ovando; Marcelo Bartsch; Max Simmond; Gastón Vélez; Manuel Robles; Rubén Soto; Jorge Ibsen; Christian Saldias
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Paper Abstract

ALMA is the first astronomical project being constructed and operated under industrial approach due to the huge amount of elements involved. In order to achieve the maximum through put during the engineering and scientific commissioning phase, several production lines have been established to work in parallel. This decision required modification in the original system architecture in which all the elements are controlled and operated within a unique Standard Test Environment (STE). The advance in the network industry and together with the maturity of virtualization paradigm allows us to provide a solution which can replicate the STE infrastructure without changing their network address definition. This is only possible with Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) and Virtual LAN (VLAN) concepts. The solution allows dynamic reconfiguration of antennas and other hardware across the production lines with minimum time and zero human intervention in the cabling. We also push the virtualization even further, classical rack mount servers are being replaced and consolidated by blade servers. On top of them virtualized server are centrally administrated with VMWare ESX. Hardware costs and system administration effort will be reduced considerably. This mechanism has been established and operated successfully during the last two years. This experience gave us confident to propose a solution to divide the main operation array into subarrays using the same concept which will introduce huge flexibility and efficiency for ALMA operation and eventually may simplify the complexity of ALMA core observing software since there will be no need to deal with subarrays complexity at software level.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8451, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II, 84511N (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925246
Show Author Affiliations
Tzu-Chiang Shen, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Nicolás Ovando, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Marcelo Bartsch, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Max Simmond, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Gastón Vélez, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Manuel Robles, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Rubén Soto, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)
Jorge Ibsen, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
Christian Saldias, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Chile)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8451:
Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy II
Nicole M. Radziwill; Gianluca Chiozzi, Editor(s)

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