On February 22nd 2008 TACC formally introduced the go-live of RANGER - a massive scale supercomputer. While not a traditional relational processing system, the design shared many components and basic principles of large scale processing platform.
Of particular interest is the multi terabit infiniband interconnect that allows the system to (re)distribute massive amounts of data.
One of the early learnings from the system is that loading massive amounts of data can at times be a larger challenge, than processing that very same data once loaded into the system. It points out a very common issue with large scale data processing:
You can't bring data to the processing platform, you need to take the processing to the data. For many organizations that means to hold all of their data in a single place and avoid data movement between platforms as much as possible.
Processing Petabytes of information in place is one thing, moving them in and out of systems a very different story.