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“If you need 10,000 cores to perform an extra layer of analysis in an hour, you have to scale a significant cluster to get answers quickly. You need a real solution that can address everything from very small to extremely large data sets.”

Dr. Tim Cutts Acting Head of Scientific Computing Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a charitably funded genomic research center located in the United Kingdom, is a world leader in studying the impact of genetics and genomics on global health. Since its inception in 1993, Sanger Institute has developed new understanding of genomes and their role in biology while delivering some of the most important advances in genomic research.


  • Obtaining a robust IT infrastructure with large-scale, high-throughput performance is essential to supporting Sanger Institute’s diverse research community, encompassing over 2,000 scientists worldwide
  • Supporting major sequencing technology advancements, including powerful new machines, created a surge in data volume and computational analysis
  • Resolving their classic Big Data problem was complicated by unpredictable data growth as the amount of data and computational analysis varied by workload and research project
  • Delivering on the extremely high service levels that were required to store, manage, access and archive massive amounts of research data


  • DDN SFA® high-performance storage engine and EXAScaler™ Lustre® file system appliance to deliver unprecedented levels of throughput and scalability to support tens of thousands of data sequences requiring up to 10,000 CPU hours of computational analysis.


  • DDN enabled Sanger Institute further its exploration of groundbreaking scientific and medical research
  • Sanger Institute is well positioned to keep pace with advancements in sequencing technology with storage that can scale seamlessly without replacement or forklift upgrades
  • DDN enables Sanger Institute to achieve its business goal of ensuring open data sharing by making it easy for the worldwide scientific community to collaborate and access the latest data and analytics


  • Flexible scaling ensures that Sanger Institute has sufficient storage performance to support downstream analysis, which is difficult to predict and varies by workload and project
  • DDN’s ability to engage at the software level ensures optimal Lustre and iRODS performance
  • DDN’s high-throughput storage enables Sanger Institute to upgrade its 10GbE network to 40GbE without replacing its storage infrastructure

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute: Evaluating Lustre 2.9 and Openstack

In this video from the DDN User Group at ISC17, James Beal of the The Sanger Insitute presents their environment. He also discusses how they've taken more than a decade of experience using Lustre and integrating it with OpenStack to create a complementary mix of HPC and cloud computing to ensure faster processing of data with much more robust collaboration capabilities.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Next Generation Sequencing Storage Powered by DDN Storage

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute uses innovative, high-performance DDN® Storage to deliver unprecedented levels of throughput and scalability to support tens of thousands of data sequences requiring up to 10,000 CPU hours of computational analysis.