Children’s Mercy Kansas City Accelerates Major Medical Breakthroughs for Critically Ill Children with Powerful, Scalable DDN Storage

DDN GS7K Reduces Time to Produce Rapid Genome Sequencing Results by Nearly 2X, Enabling Leading Children’s Hospital to Push Boundaries Diagnosing and Treating Rare Diseases


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – June 22, 2016


DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced that Children’s Mercy Kansas City is transforming children’s lives and redefining pediatric medicine with an incredibly innovative genomics approach powered by DDN storage. The hospital has deployed DDN’s GS7K™ with 1PB of storage to speed patient diagnosis and disease treatments by fueling compute and data-intensive research from the world’s first whole genome sequencing center in a pediatric setting.

At the hospital’s Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine, physicians collaborate with clinical laboratory scientists, molecular geneticists, bioinformaticians and software engineers to sequence and analyze rare inherited diseases. Recognized as a pediatric genomics pioneer, Children’s Mercy previously set the standard for decoding a genome in about two days—a process that traditionally took six weeks or longer. The hospital now is applying advanced compute, DDN storage and accelerated sequencing technologies to reach its goal of completing the process and delivering results to physicians in 26 hours.

According to Shane Corder, HPC systems engineer, Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine at Children’s Mercy, rapid genome sequencing can be the key to diagnosing critically ill patients and prescribing viable treatments faster and more effectively. “Genomic sequencing, coupled with high-performance computing and DDN storage, gives us a whole new look at medicine by quickly shedding light on DNA variations that can explain a child’s condition,” he explains. “Our focus on developing clinical tests for next-generation medical treatments improves outcomes for patients at Children’s Mercy and around the world.”

In particular, time is of the essence when decoding genomes of seriously ill children to find genetic causes of their illnesses and end typically arduous and often painful diagnostic journeys. Dealing with massive amounts of data is exceedingly difficult as a person’s DNA has more than 6.4 million bases, encompassing 22,000 genes that code for 100,000 proteins. To remove bottlenecks in its clinical and research environments, Children’s Mercy sought a powerful storage solution to address the constant data deluge while enabling scientists to quickly analyze data and produce meaningful genome testing results.

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With DDN’s high-performance GRIDScaler® platform, Children’s Mercy can scale up or out to handle massive data ingest, processing, storage and collaboration. Not only does DDN deliver performance and scalability unmatched by traditional scale-out, enterprise NAS architectures, the GS7K meets the Center’s imposing requirements for a high-density, cost-effective solution.

Thanks to DDN, Children’s Mercy has dramatically improved its ability to align, analyze and discover data as the storage platform seamlessly supports the Center’s Nordic suite of software tools. For example, the time to perform the Center’s well-known STAT-Seq rapid genome test has been reduced by about 43 percent, or from 2.5 to 1.75 hours. Ingest on Children’s Mercy’s Illumina sequencers also has increased substantially. Together, these performance improvements will enable Children’s Mercy to break the time barrier for decoding a full genome.

“We’re trying hard to break the 48-hour window required for the crucial STAT-Seq test by applying advanced compute, storage and accelerated sequencing technologies,” Corder says. “The goal is to complete the entire process from enrollment to delivering a final report to the physician in 26 hours.” Additionally, DDN’s storage will be able to seamlessly support the Center’s planned deployment of the Edico DRAGEN Bio-IT processor, which is an FPGA-based genomic analysis acceleration technique.

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About DDN
DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the world’s leading big data storage supplier to data-intensive, global organizations. For more than 15 years, DDN storage has designed, developed, deployed and optimized systems, software and storage solutions that enable enterprises, service providers, universities and government agencies to generate more value and to accelerate time to insight from their data and information, on premise and in the cloud. Organizations leverage the power of DDN storage technology and the deep technical expertise of its team to capture, store, process, analyze, collaborate and distribute data, information and content at largest scale in the most efficient, reliable and cost effective manner. DDN customers include many of the world’s leading financial services firms and banks, healthcare and life science organizations, manufacturing and energy companies, government and research facilities, and web and cloud service providers. For more information, go to or call 1-800-837-2298.

About Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Located in Kansas City, Mo., Children’s Mercy is one of the nation’s top pediatric medical centers. The 354-bed, not-for-profit hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 21, and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.” For the fourth time in a row, Children’s Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to fewer than seven percent of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. Its faculty of more than 700 pediatric subspecialists and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. With more than a century of generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s Mercy has provided the highest level of medical care to every child who passes through its doors, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. For more information about Children’s Mercy and its research, visit For breaking news and videos, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

Media Contacts:


Michael King

Sr. Director of Marketing


Work: 408-419-2892

IGNITE Consulting, on behalf of DDN

Linda Dellett, 303-439-9398

Kathleen Sullivan, 303-439-9365


Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Jake Jacobson

Sr. Manager, Public Relations

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