Hokkaido University Builds Japan’s Largest Academic Cloud with DataDirect Networks Flexible Cloud and Powerful Big Data Storage

DDN’s Parallel File System Storage, With the Unique Ability to Extend to WOS Object Storage, Delivers Scalability and Speed from Hadoop Analytic Clusters to the Cloud

Santa Clara, Calif — October 6, 2014

News Facts

  • Hokkaido University is offering researchers unprecedented access to Big Data analysis of data stored in Japan’s largest academic cloud using DataDirect Networks (DDN) WOS® object storage, Storage Fusion Architecture® (SFA) high-performance storage engine delivered as complete solution with the company’s GRIDScaler™ appliance.
  • Many universities today building HPC-based research computing and engineering infrastructures grapple with the challenge of managing disparate applications and technical requirements with limited budgets. With more than a thousand researchers accessing, sharing and archiving vital research for high performance computing, data science, machine learning and video surveillance projects, Hokkaido University required a single system with high-performance file storage that would simplify its environment by consolidating its lower performing and specialized storage systems into one, while also seamlessly providing cloud access for collaboration and data distribution.
  • With DDN’s complete Big Data lifecycle management solution comprising GRIDScaler and WOS technologies, Hokkaido University now can support multiple storage tiers of Big Data from compute to the cloud. The university takes advantage of GRIDScaler for high performance parallel ingest from large Hadoop data clusters before migrating massive amounts of unstructured data to WOS Cloud Storage, where it remains instantly accessible in a single namespace across file and object data – regardless of the data’s physical location.
  • Additionally, Hokkaido University leverages DDN’s intelligent data lifecycle management capabilities, growing WOS ecosystem and multiple cloud interfaces to share data seamlessly with external cloud-based services, including ownCloud/WebDAV, Google, Swift, S3 and Dropbox.
  • As the most extensive WOS deployment in Japan, Hokkaido University’s use of DDN WOS provides a high performance, infinitely scalable and easy-to-use active archive. Researchers and students can access the system through browsers on their desktops or mobile devices, enabling more efficient content collaboration and faster time to discovery.
  • Hokkaido University now can build upon recent research efforts, including one that compressed drug discovery screening from two months to less than a week and another that involved gathering observational data from fishing boats via satellite, processing it using a high-performance, cloud-based cluster, and using the results to predict potential new fishing grounds.

Hokkaido University (@hokkaido_uni) slashes costs with @DDN_Limitless WOS for cloud access to Hadoop analytic results

DDN Delivers Complete System Spanning all Tiers from Compute to the Cloud

  • DDN’s GRIDScaler enterprise parallel file system with NAS interfaces and Cloud extensions is ideally suited for helping Hokkaido University solve its Big Data challenges while eliminating bottlenecks to maximize application performance.
  • The energy efficiency, density and ease of management of the GRIDScaler platform will save the school time and money, and the scalability of its academic cloud ensures it will continue to do so for the forseeable future.
  • DDN’s WOS-Bridge ensures seamless integration between GRIDScaler and WOS object storage while providing Hokkaido with an automated platform for leveraging the cost, collaboration and archive benefits of the Cloud.
  • As Hokkaido’s cloud grows to encompass multiple sites and different campuses, the team will benefit from DDN’s WOS intelligent data placement and access functionality, which delivers data to users using the most efficient route with the least latency.

Supporting Quotes

Masaharu Munetomo, Ph.D., professor and Vice Director of Information Initiative Center, Research Division of Digital Concepts, Hokkaido University:

  • “DDN’s expertise in supporting multiple storage tiers enables Hokkaido University to manage our complete data lifecycle while ensuring that our academic cloud will be able to scale seamlessly to meet the growing demands of our dynamic research environment.”
  • “DDN was the only company that could support multiple cloud services in a single system—which is critical for ensuring efficient workflows and increased content collaboration across thousands of researchers and students.”
  • “DDN has strong technology leadership in High-Performance Computing and commercial applications, combined with its proven experience in object storage, which enables us to support both our current needs and future expansion plans.
  • “DDN’s ability to build a strong ecosystem of partners and third-party cloud providers ensures seamless access to multiple cloud-based services and gives our researchers increased flexibility to share vital research data anytime, anywhere.”

Supporting Resources

About DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the world leader in massively scalable storage. Our data storage and processing solutions and professional services enable content-rich and high growth IT environments to achieve the highest levels of systems scalability, efficiency and simplicity. DDN enables enterprises to extract value and deliver business results from their information. Our customers include the world’s leading online content and social networking providers, high performance cloud and grid computing, life sciences, media production, and security and intelligence organizations. Deployed in thousands of mission critical environments worldwide, DDN’s solutions have been designed, engineered and proven in the world’s most scalable data centers to ensure competitive business advantage for today’s information powered enterprise. For more information, go to or call 1-800-837-2298.


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