Scripps taps DDN for data storage and management

("Improving resolution by cryo-EM" (CC BY 2.0) by National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has rolled out DataDirect Networks’ (DDN) data management system across its cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) research teams. TSRI is using the system to collect and archive the 30 terabytes of cryo-EM data it generates each week.

Cryo-EM, a form of imaging that studies samples at cryogenic temperatures, has given researchers a way to view specimens without first subjecting them to staining or fixing. TSRI has been at the forefront of attempts to improve the resolution of cryo-EM, a process that has made it more useful as a structural biology tool but also ramped up the amount of data it generates. To manage its growing data storage needs, TSRI has turned to DDN.

"DDN helps us give scientists what they want: unlimited storage capacity and easy access to data,” Jean-Christophe Ducom, HPC manager, information technology services at TSRI, said in a statement.

The system deployed by DDN at TSRI uses SFA7700X file storage, a hybrid flash appliance designed for use with large datasets. Specifically, by pairing flash memory to hard disk drives, DDN claims to have combined the speed of the former with the economy of the latter. At TSRI, SFA7700X is linked to a WOS object storage archive, a platform created by DDN to support the fast, ongoing growth in data storage requirements.

TSRI now has two petabytes of accessible storage for its cryo-EM images. The system supports the sharing and re-analysis of the images. By establishing this repository, TSRI has also freed up space on its existing systems for other teams. TSRI now has 700 terabytes of storage space for researchers in genomics, molecular dynamics and other fields.

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