An Error during Routine Supercomputer Backup Wipes 77 Terabytes of Research Data at Kyoto University

By: | January 4th, 2022

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Kyoto University, one of Japan’s leading research institutes recently lost about 77 Terabytes of data.

The data was accidentally lost due to an error in the backup system of its Hewlett-Packard supercomputer. The error occurred during a routine backup procedure. The data backup was designed to protect data belonging to researchers at Kyoto University.

The data was wiped out from the system and the backup file

The incident occurred sometime between December 14 and 16. It erased approx. 34 million files, created by 14 different research groups over a period. These research groups were using University’s supercomputing system. 

The university runs Hewlett Packard (HP) Cray computing systems and a Data Direct ExaScaler storage system

The supercomputer was used by researchers to process complex mathematical calculations during their research on a range of topics from molecular modeling to oil exploration, climate, and atmospheric modeling, physics, vaccine science, quantum mechanics, to name a few. These computers can also make hundred quadrillion operations a second. They are not only super-expensive to build but also to operate.

Unfortunately, some of the valuable information cannot be recovered

After investigating the impact of the loss, the university found out that the work of four research groups could not be restored.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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