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Top Research Institute Uses SwiftStack to Store Genomics Data

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), one of the top research institutes in the U.S. focused on critical medical research areas including cardiovascular disease, cancer, aging and lupus, recently found that it was in need of a better way to store its large amounts of genomics data and manage its archives. OMRF selected SwiftStack to better achieve these goals.

Scientists need to keep data forever, especially in the world of genomics research, so one of OMRF's biggest challenges is that storage requirements continue to grow and will never decrease. Furthermore, OMRF relies on grants and donations to fund its computing infrastructure, making it difficult to plan for a multi-year budget that accounts for growing storage needs.

After a recommendation from the Association of Independent Research Institutes, OMRF installed the SwiftStack software into their environment in just 20 minutes, without any disruption. SwiftStack integrates easily with OMRF's existing infrastructure, avoiding the need for costly and cumbersome infrastructure changes, and the pay-as-you-grow model provides a flexible plan for expanding capacity if and when it is needed.

"What sold me on the SwiftStack solution is the cost savings, pay-as-you-grow, and that it meets our growing demands in a cost-effective way without adding staff," said Brent Keck, CIO, OMRF.

Before implementing SwiftStack, OMRF was using tape for data backup, archive and restore. Tape maintenance required two to four hours per week in labor, $80,000-$120,000 for a tape library, $30,000 per year for tape media costs and $1,000 per month for additional storage. Now with SwiftStack, the time and resources mentioned above are now used to enhance user experiences and support the health of all systems.

"Scientists and researchers create an immense amount of information and, not surprisingly, they want to keep all of it for an eternity," said Chris Dagdigian, BioTeam co-founder and director of technology. "The enormous amount of data that is created or easily downloaded by one scientist or an entire lab can overwhelm traditional enterprise storage platforms. Life science storage requires nearly infinite capacity, multiple access paths to the actual data while avoiding unnecessary hardware and management costs."

Joe Arnold, chief product officer and co-founder of SwiftStack, summarized the need for bioinformatics organizations like OMRF to address the twin goals of innovating in research and overcoming limits of legacy infrastructure.  "The rapid innovation in genomic sequencing is generating data at a rate that has outpaced the falling costs of traditional storage. With petabyte-scale the new norm, object storage is the only approach that both addresses cost and enables researchers to use tagging with metadata to improve their data management."

 

Published Tuesday, July 19, 2016 6:38 AM by David Marshall
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