Big Data lecture: setting up astronomical databases or starting small?

News | 20 Nov 2017

After all the inspiring stories about the opportunities and possibilities of big data, Kevin Morssink, ethical hacker dropped by E11EVEN in Heerenveen, at the end of the meeting a bombshell. “It is important to secure the data properly. A fence around a data center is not enough, access to the systems in that center must also be properly arranged and the network must be well protected against burglaries. We still rely too often on one layer of security," he warned.

big science

One of the inspiring stories came from Albert-Jan Boonstra, technical research program manager at our partner ASTRON† He talked about the gigantic amount that the Dutch radio telescopes collect and therefore provide more and more insight into, for example, the origin of our universe. Westerbork (20 million gigabytes in 5 years) and LOFAR (650,000 gigabytes per day) cause an astronomical data flow. “The design and management of this is a challenge in itself.”


Part of the meeting was a Link Café. In groups, the participants discuss the statement: 'Big data is meaningless without action.' The underlying idea is that collecting big data is not a goal in itself, but should lead to action. Although the statement is an open door, it leads to animated discussions in which the pros and cons balance each other nicely.

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The full article about this meeting can be downloaded below. Also visit the LINK Magazine website.