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UCL goes direct to DDN for storage solution

DataDirect Networks (DDN) has been selected by University College London (UCL) to provide up to 3,000 researchers with a storage solution for sharing, reusing and preserving project-based research data.

With 25 Nobel prize-winners among its alumni and staff as well as a world-class reputation for the quality of its teaching and research, UCL was looking to remove the burden of storing and preserving research data from individual researchers and in doing so, lower the barriers of sharing and exploiting vital findings in order to improve research outcomes and overcome problems of global significance.

As UCL’s storage demands grow, the university expects to build a storage foundation that will scale up to 100 petabytes. Looking for a storage solution that was massively scalable yet simple to manage as part of the first phase of the infrastructure build out, UCL will use DDN object storage technology to store up to 600TB of research data.

DDN object storage capabilities also will be able to empower UCL researchers to collaborate without having to worry about data reliability, compliance obligations or long-term retention of critical research assets, the company says. UCL forecasts it will save up to hundreds of thousands of UK pounds by slashing hardware, power and staffing costs, as well as maintenance fees, associated with attaining and maintaining personal data stores across 100 departments, institutes and research centres.

Daniel Hanlon, storage architect for research data services in UCL’s information services division, said: 'It was important that DDN’s solution gave us multiple ways to access the same storage so we could be compatible with existing application codes. The tendency with other solutions was to give us bits of technology that had been developed in different spaces and that didn’t really fit our problem.'

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