Industry: Life Science and National Laboratory

The National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), located in Kalyani, West Bengal, India, is the first research institution in India devoted to
genome-based research for human health and disease.

For NIBMG researchers, an overarching goal is to conduct and promote cutting-edge research in biomedical genomics that will translate to improvements in genomics-based healthcare in India including standards, practices and treatments for illnesses and diseases that have a genetic component. This is particularly important as there is a large gap in the understanding of—and estimating the interaction between—genetics and environmental factors in the causes of diseases that are prevalent throughout India. For instance, NIBMG is conducting genomics-based research into oral cancer, under the aegis of International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) to identify new genes and biological pathways that are specific to oral (gingivo-buccal) cancer predominantly associated with smokeless tobacco consumption in India. Oral cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide, but is the leading cancer among men in India.



  • Limitations with legacy storage platform hindered NIBMG’s ability to keep pace with massive amounts of genomics data resulting from major cancer research study
  • Performance bottlenecks and storage failures occurred when NIBMG produced large datasets from next-gen sequencers and tried to feed them to High-Performance Compute clusters
  • Inability to run concurrent jobs slowed research results considerably
  • Persistent failures led to delays in publishing research results, including a catastrophic failure that caused loss of data


  • An end-to-end solution consisting of DDN SFA12KE and GRIDScaler, an embedded GPFS high-performance appliance, connected to WOS object storage and all managed by DirectMon


  • NIBMG achieved a significant reduction in data ingest time when compared to its legacy storage platform, enabling the team to run concurrent sequences for twice as many patients while translating results for broader research benefits in as little as two-to-three months
  • NIBMG identified new genes and biological pathways specific to oral cancer associated predominantly with smokeless tobacco consumption in India


  • With DDN’s unprecedented throughput, NIBMG can process at least multiple jobs concurrently to speed analysis and translation of research results
  • The ability to run jobs for twice the number of patients enables NIBMG to deliver actionable research results faster, expediting the delivery of better treatments for oral cancer


  • DDN’s powerful parallel file system works seamlessly with the institute’s mix of standard and customized applications
  • Ability to grow in place and scale up to more than 10PB of aggregated capacity will keep pace with ever-increasing data demands
  • High availability and reliability with no single point of failure protects vital research results from inadvertent data loss
  • Versatile object storage is ideally suited for both backup and active-archive applications