Public Health England Leverages DataDirect Networks Cloud and Big Data Storage to Accelerate Sequencing Service Time to Results from Days to Hours

DDN’s Leadership in High Performance Lustre File Systems Coupled with Best-of-Breed WOS Object Storage Technology Enable 16X Faster Pathogen Sample Analysis

Santa Clara, Calif. — June 9, 2015


News Facts

  • Public Health England (PHE) is pioneering a next-generation, centralized sequencing service to generate and analyze the near-complete genetic code of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, storing the data generated on DataDirect Networks’ (DDN) SFA® high-performance storage engine in combination with the company’s EXAScaler™ Lustre File System Appliance and WOS® Object Storage platform.
  • In order to support the advanced, data-intensive demands of the new technologies that make whole-genome sequencing of pathogens possible, PHE required a storage solution that could scale across all tiers of storage to better support public health analyses and interventions. In particular, PHE sought a solution to help public health stakeholders more fully characterize harmful microbes and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.
  • PHE turned to DDN’s cloud and big data storage platforms to help support the heavy I/O and data analysis requirements of the organization, where streamlining access to data and accelerating time to results is critical. By taking advantage of DDN’s Lustre expertise, PHE deployed an extremely high performance parallel file system and now can process up to 192 bacterial samples in the same time it used to take to process 12 samples. Moreover, DDN’s massively parallel I/O capabilities enable PHE to turn around results to its customers in hours, which is critical for the turnaround time required by customers, such as hospitals.
  • Additionally, PHE is leveraging the versatility of the WOS platform to bolster data resiliency by replicating data between the organization’s primary sites.
  • PHE’s Next-Generation Sequencing Processing and Analysis Service (NGSS) will be among the first public health services in the world to offer a routine service for stakeholders to perform whole genome analysis for identification, analysis and characterization of bacteria and viruses, including salmonella, MRSA, HIV and influenza.
  • DDN’s strong commitment to the scientific community recently was reinforced by joining the global alliance for Genomics and Health; DDN currently provides the storage for more than one-third of the world’s top sequencing companies.

Tweet this: With @DDN_limitless #storage & a computing cluster, @PHE-uk processes 16X more bacteria samples in same amt. of time

DDN Streamlines Management of Scientific Data Lifecycle

  • DDN’s ability to integrate with iRODS will let Public Health England streamline the data lifecycle for both internal and external scientists who need to ingest, process, analyze, store, share and protect vital genomics research.
  • With integrated iRODS capabilities, researchers now can find data regardless of where it’s physically located by performing an indexed query of user-specified metadata across petabytes of both file and object data.
  • With the WOS platform, PHE also will be able to provide an active archive where researchers can access geographically dispersed and replicated file data to make it easy for researchers worldwide to access data long-term for further analysis or publication.
  • Additionally, PHE now is better positioned to meet the stringent demands of its bioinformatics workflows for variant analysis, mutation detection and de novo assembly.

Supporting Resources

  • Read the Genomics Solution Brief
  • More on DDN EXAScaler
  • More on DDN WOS
  • Read the Public Health England Case Study

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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