National Center for Genome Resources accelerates genome sequencing with cluster technology

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The National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) has deployed Isilon Systems' scale-out NAS to power its full range of next-generation genome sequencing research services. By combining Isilon's X-Series, Backup Accelerator and CommVault's Simpana backup software, NCGR has unified eight Illumina genome analysers onto a reliable, central storage resource, accelerating time-to-results and ensuring its research information is secure and accessible.

'Rapidly increasing demand for our genome research services and the imminent arrival of third generation genome sequencing technologies are quadrupling the size of our sequencing capacity, creating a huge influx of valuable genomic data that our previous storage system simply couldn’t handle,' said John Utsey, deputy director of IT, NCGR. 'We needed a very scalable, easy-to-use system that would keep our data reliably – and Isilon delivered. With Isilon IQ, we've increased productivity and reduced operating costs.'

NCGR's research focuses on discovering how genome variation between individuals relates to disease or to economically important crop traits, while NCGR's software engineers develop scientific software solutions to support and enable this research. Prior to deploying Isilon IQ, the increase of genomic data generated by NCGR's rapidly growing sequencing capacity overwhelmed the organisation's previous storage system, limiting data access and sequencing performance, while requiring time - and resource-intensive storage management.

By deploying Isilon IQ, NCGR has unified all of its Illumina DNA sequence capture devices on a single file system, significantly increasing workflow performance and accelerating time-to-results. NCGR has also integrated its Isilon system with CommVault Simpana software to securely backup mission-critical research data to tape for disaster recovery. With Isilon scale-out NAS, NCGR can run DNA sequencing analyses and backup operations simultaneously without any degradation of sequencing or backup performance, improving productivity and ensuring NCGR's genomic sequencing data, which can cost more than $60,000 per day, is always accessible.