R apid advances in laboratory instruments are redefining IT requirements for life science organizations. To more quickly and completely analyze the tremendous volumes of data produced by next-generation sequencing (NGS) and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) instruments, organizations are increasingly investing in additional super computing resources to crunch the larger data sets these instruments are generating on a daily basis.
This, however, is only part of the story.
As they move to more powerful compute systems, these organizations also need to ramp up their storage environments. Not doing so carries the risk of creating an unbalanced compute and storage solution, which has the potential to generate serious bottlenecks in the data-intensive portion of the research workflow. Additionally, beyond simply providing performance, storage environments must have the capacity to preserve large-scale data sets over long periods of time, as well as help life science teams control costs and complexity.
Identifying four key storage priorities
If your organization is ready to reassess your storage environment in light of these challenges, where should you start? Here are four requirements that should be among your top priorities
- Scalable capacity: Your storage environment must be able to scale to accommodate rapidly rising data volumes. You’ll need capacity for storing both data produced through scientific analysis and raw data, so researchers have the option of running additional analyses in the future. Deploying an integrated archive solution will help you preserve and protect data for years to come. The right solution will help you adhere to data-retention regulations while providing researchers with fast, easy access to data sets.
- Robust performance: You need sufficient sequential performance to ingest large amounts of data from scientific instruments and strong random I/O performance to support complex analyses. The storage solution must complete a huge number of reads and writes per second, typically over 100,000 IOPS, especially when you are using large HPC clusters with numerous cores to process data.
- Flexibility: Whether you have a small team in a single lab or numerous researchers across the globe, your storage environment must support seamless collaboration. You need ways to eliminate data silos so researchers can access data quickly and easily, drawing from a single, shared pool. Your storage solution should also accommodate multiple operating systems and a variety of connectivity types so researchers can use their preferred applications and you can continue to utilize your existing infrastructure investments.
- Simplified management: Chances are you don’t have a large, dedicated IT team—few life science organizations do. In fact, you might have assigned a few tech-savvy researchers to IT management. If so, you need storage solutions that will let them focus more of their time on science and research projects, and less on day-to-day storage administration. In these circumstances, a polished, enterprise-grade graphical user interface (GUI) can truly streamline daily storage administration tasks.
Optimizing storage for today’s life science workflows with Quantum
The Quantum Xcellis® Scale-out NAS solution—powered by the Quantum StorNext® file system and data management platform—offers the right combination of scalability, performance, flexibility and simplified management for today’s life science workflows. You can capitalize on exciting new scientific opportunities engendered by innovative instruments without excessive costs or complexity.
To learn more about how Xcellis Scale-out NAS and StorNext can help you address the challenges of life science workflows, download the new E-book, “Evolving Considerations for Data Storage in Life Sciences”.