Sunday, 17th November 2019
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Managing DNA research data at Copenhagen University

The High-throughput DNA Sequencing Centre at Copenhagen University opts for a centralised, consolidated storage system from Proact.

The datasets from research at the High-throughput DNA Sequencing Centre at Copenhagen University can be enormous, which makes great demands of the IT system in general and the storage solution in particular. Data has to be stored as documentation when research results are published, for instance, and so the need for storage is growing at a tremendous pace.

Following a number of years involving storage on several different servers, where performance was not particularly good and scaling was very difficult, the centre needed a futureproof solution.

“Our aim was to implement a new consolidated, centralised storage system that would give us the performance we need,” says Ian Lissimore, IT administrator at the centre. “We wanted administration and maintenance to be easier, and we wanted to ensure we had better opportunities for upgrading our capacity in the future.”

After carrying out research among staff, students and users at the centre in order to clarify their long-term wishes and requirements, Ian Lissimore entered into talks with Proact in the autumn of 2013.

Upscaled with no loss of performance

“As a partner, Proact is characterised by its professionalism and helpfulness. For me, the most important thing is to choose a specific supplier. Three different solutions were presented to me,” says Ian Lissimore. He then went on to swap experiences with other universities working with DNA research.

He eventually settled for the solution based on EMC Isilon, as several universities in the United Kingdom and other countries said they were very pleased with these installations and their performance.

“EMC requires a slightly bigger investment because this solution can be upscaled without affecting performance. There are other systems which are fantastic up to a point – but the scalability exceeds performance. And our system has to service more than 200 users,” says Ian Lissimore.
The new solution was commissioned in January 2015. It has a 20 PB storage capacity, and the centre is currently using 1 PB. Future data volume growth is estimated to amount to approximately 1.5 PB per year.

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