AGRF Simplifies Data Management for Vital Clinical Research Projects with S3-Compatible Object Storage
SYDNEY, Australia, June 21, 2021 – Cloudian® today announced that the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) has deployed Cloudian’s S3-compatible object storage solution, enabling AGRF to manage and store its rapidly growing volumes of genome sequencing data more efficiently and cost effectively at a vital time for the industry.
With facilities across Australia, AGRF empowers world-class genomic science in the biomedical, clinical, agricultural and environmental sectors, with over 15,000 clients worldwide. The organization has been at the center of essential COVID-19 research, from assisting researchers with vaccine development to detecting the virus in wastewater. AGRF is also distinguishing itself by playing a role in sequencing genomes of Australian threatened species to aid conservation efforts.
In an average week, AGRF processes at least 10 terabytes (TB) of data—equivalent to one year’s worth of data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Because this data is critical for driving some of the world’s most important research, AGRF needs a storage system that enables it to easily manage, protect and access the data at the lowest possible cost.
“We’re a data organization in every sense of the word,” said Douglas Morrison, AGRF ICT manager. “Mapping the genome of one patient involves 100-125 gigabases, and easily three times that if we’re analyzing specific tumor samples. Multiply that by 1,500 patients or so in just one typical study, and the data adds up fast.
“Some of our clinical clients require urgent turnaround times for decisions on how to treat a patient—particularly in the case of cancer screening. We’re working on a project now where we’re aiming to significantly decrease our turnaround times to enable faster decisions. That accelerated process is possible because of how quickly we can handle all the data.”
AGRF had been using a tape backup system which involved 16 hours of manually swapping tapes in and out every week. This time-consuming process was a huge burden for its small IT team and had begun to impact operations.
“Because we had to spend so much time on backups, we weren’t always available to assist staff if they had an issue arise,” said Morrison. “In addition, if we needed to retrieve backup data for a project, they had to wait for us to locate the right backup tape and restore it.”
As its data volumes continued to grow, AGRF realized it needed a better solution. After evaluating alternatives including tape systems and public cloud, the facility chose the Cloudian HyperStore® object storage solution for its scalability, ease of management and cost-effectiveness.
“We liked that Cloudian provided the scalable capacity to meet our future growth needs without the hassle and time required in managing tapes and accessing data,” said Morrison. “In addition, the Cloudian HyperStore solution was half the cost of public cloud storage, a huge consideration for AGRF as a not-for-profit organization.”
AGRF deployed HyperStore appliances with a total capacity of 1.8 petabytes, using Cloudian’s HyperFile software to move data to HyperStore. The adoption of the Cloudian solution has brought huge benefits to the leading sequencing provider.
Cloudian has also enabled AGRF to increase its footprint in fast-growing applied markets and commercial diagnostic industries. In addition, the organization will leverage HyperStore in an upcoming project to map the genome of the infamous Australian box jellyfish, helping researchers to develop improved antivenoms and possibly therapeutic adjuncts.
“The importance of genome sequencing and mapping has become even more apparent over the past year in the effort to combat the pandemic,” said James Wright, Cloudian’s regional director, A/NZ and Oceania. “This industry is driving medical advancements all over the world and is key to beating the virus.
Reflecting AGRF’s leading role in the industry, the facility is leveraging its enhanced storage infrastructure to achieve better, faster research results that will enable continued innovation and ultimately improve people’s lives.”
Cloudian is the most widely deployed independent provider of object storage. With a native S3 API, it brings the scalability and flexibility of public cloud storage into the data center while providing ransomware protection and reducing TCO by 60% or more compared to traditional SAN/NAS and public cloud. The geo-distributed architecture enables users to manage and protect object and file data across sites—on-premises and in the cloud—from a single platform. Available as software or appliances, Cloudian supports conventional and containerized applications. More at cloudian.com.
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