NASA to Launch 247 Petabytes of Data Into AWS – But Forgot About Eye-Watering Cloudy Egress Costs Before Lift Off

NASA to launch 247 petabytes of data into AWS – but forgot about eye-watering cloudy egress costs before lift off

NASA needs 215 more petabytes of storage by the year 2025, and expects Amazon Web Services to provide the bulk of that capacity. However, the space agency didn’t realize this would cost it plenty in cloud egress charges. As in, it will have to pay as scientists download its data.

That omission alone has left NASA’s cloud strategy pointing at the ground rather than at the heavens. The data in question will come from NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) program, which collects information from the many missions that observe our planet. NASA makes those readings available through the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

To store all the data and run EOSDIS, NASA operates a dozen Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) that provide pleasing redundancy. But NASA is tired of managing all that infrastructure, so in 2019, it picked AWS to host it all, and started migrating its records to the Amazon cloud as part of a project dubbed Earthdata Cloud. The first cut-over from on-premises storage to the cloud was planned for Q1 2020, with more to follow.

The agency expects to transfer data off-premises for years to come.