Launch.jpgWith each voyage to outer space, NASA continues to meet its vision: to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind. With the anticipation of Expedition 48 launching in a few weeks, it’s hard to believe that despite the organization’s breakthroughs in reaching new frontiers, NASA also faced data management challenges.


NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) has served as a hub of human spaceflight activity for more than half a century. NASA relies on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to scale efficiently and elastically, enjoying the freedom and flexibility to store large volumes of data inexpensively. However, with more than four petabytes of critical decision-making data from video, satellites, cameras and telescopes, NASA also turned to NetApp for a more secure and efficient way to move, manage and protect its data.


“With one of the largest cloud footprints of any U.S. federal government agency, NASA had very specific requirements for how to support its backup to the cloud initiatives,” said Anna Parker, a hybrid cloud specialist at NetApp. “Following a proof of concept trial, NASA determined NetApp AltaVault was the best choice to protect its data, optimize its cloud footprint, and drive down cost.”


NASA’s Informational Resources Directorate (IRD) specifically ran a proof of concept to store backup data in the cloud with AWS to reduce costs. The IRD used its existing Veritas NetBackup environment and deployed two NetApp AltaVault appliances as the interface. The proof of concept was a success and the solution is now in production.


In using AltaVault, NASA has been able to provide JSC with a solution that meets both federal and NASA regulations while keeping their data secure at all times. AltaVault also gave JSC a way to drive down cost and optimize its cloud footprint that would not tax the institutional network. Finally it allowed JSC to use its already existing infrastructure by providing a simple integration process – JSC personnel even installed the first unit without any outside help.


With a solid data management strategy in place, NASA’s Johnson Space Center can continue to play its pivotal role in enhancing scientific and technological knowledge to benefit all of humankind. 


To learn more about how NetApp enables NASA to protect mission-critical data read the press release or visit

NetApp Staff