University of Florida Tames Big Science Data Growth with DataDirect Networks Converged Storage Infrastructure

DDN Speeds and Simplifies Research Collaboration Across Bioinformatics, Cellomics, Genomics and Proteomics Data

Santa Clara, Calif. — December 5, 2013

News Facts

  • DataDirect Networks (DDN) maintains its lead in supporting the largest Big Data, High Performance Computing (HPC), Cloud and data-intensive environments with the introduction today of its new SFA12K® X series (SFA12KX), the industry’s fastest family of storage appliance platforms.
  • Providing more than 400 world-class services to a wide range of life science researchers, the University of Florida’s Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR) has selected DataDirect Networks (DDN) high-performance storage as the foundation for a converged infrastructure designed to accommodate ever-increasing life sciences and bioinformatics workloads.
  • As one of the Nation’s top cross-disciplinary life sciences academic research facilities, ICBR’s data load explodes with every new high-speed device investment including next generation sequencers and Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) instruments, which are capable of generating TB of data per day.
  • To tame its Big Data growth within the constraints of limited data center space and funding and a lean administrative team, ICBR turned to DDN’s unique, appliance-based approach to converged infrastructure which allowed them to reduce their storage and application server footprint by 350 percent. This converged approach gives ICBR a simple, secure, shared model to use as building blocks to scale up or out to meet future research requirements.
  • Using DDN™ Storage Fusion Architecture® high-performance storage engine with In-Storage Processing® converged compute capabilities and DDN’s GRIDScaler™ parallel file system, ICBR was able to deploy an adaptive and customizable architecture for storing, managing and analyzing large collections of distributed data totaling billions of files and petabytes of storage across tens of federated data grids. Now, since researchers can access as little or as much data as they choose, internal and external ICBR researchers, as well as partner institutions, can focus on scientific advances such as innovation in antibody development and production, rather than on IT infrastructure.
  • With DDN solutions, life sciences organizations worldwide continue to document meaningful performance increases, and up to 75 percent faster genomics pipeline throughput than traditional storage platforms

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DDN Accelerates Life Sciences Time-to-Discovery and Collaboration with Converged Infrastructure Solution

  • With DDN’s In-Storage Processing, ICBR can eliminate latency, servers and switches since parallel file systems and user applications are embedded right inside the storage appliance using a standard virtualization layer.
  • For ICBR, DDN’s ability to embed applications like iRODS – an open source data grid solution for managing large sets of computer files – within the storage system enables the center’s cyberinfrastructure team to make it easier for anyone involved in a research project to view, manage, access, add and share data as part of a converged infrastructure solution.
  • ICBR also can take advantage of an integrated appliance to offer geographically dispersed departments, research groups and lab staff an increased ability to collaborate more freely on research data.

Supporting Quotes

Aaron Gardner, Cyberinfrastructure Section Director for the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research:

  • “Our goal was to develop storage building blocks that would enable us to assemble any kind of storage researchers may need in a simple and secure shared-storage model.”
  • “We now have the opportunity to build an authoritative, immutable data warehouse that provides a safe harbor in the middle of the ‘Wild Wild West’ of scientific research. Based on that, as well as the ability to increase performance with smaller footprint, fewer hardware costs, lower management overhead and latency makes me confident we are headed in the right direction.”
  • “We were able to take advantage of DDN’s embedded platform to take in iRODS with distributed storage, which hasn’t been done before. We have the benefit of pairing the two in a way that’s easy to manage.”
  • “The combination of fast performance with low latency means that accessing and aligning storage resources don’t distract from the science. We can scale to a few thousand files a second with a couple hundred simultaneous read/write transactions easily.”

Supporting Resources

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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