Scaling from terabytes to petabytes in seconds

About Ghent University

Ghent University is a top 100 university and one of the major universities in Belgium. Its 11 faculties offer a wide range of courses and conduct in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains. It is also the first European university in the Songdo Global University Campus in South Korea.

Located in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium and the cultural and economic heart of Europe, Ghent University is an active partner in national and international educational, scientific and industrial cooperation. With a view to cooperation in research and scientific service, numerous research groups, centers and institutes have been founded over the years. Several of them are renowned worldwide in various scientific disciplines such as biotechnology, aquaculture, microelectronics and history.

The Ghent University Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics plays a crucial role in the education of students in biochemistry/biotechnology, plant biotechnology and bioinformatics by offering courses in a wide range of disciplines centered around plant-specific aspects of biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and physiology and the ability to use biochemical and biotechnological techniques in a creative and inventive manner. Another aspect is to obtain a better and preferentially more quantitative molecular understanding of cellular processes by integrating and modelling high-throughput molecular data (omics data).

The challenge

The Ghent University Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics needed an agile and modern solution for storing and protecting the critical data from its research. Much of the research it conducts is simulation-based, and this research must withstand the test of time. Losing important research would be a major blow to the department’s efforts. As a result, the department needed a centralized multiprotocol data storage system for extremely secure archiving of simulation data. This solution also needed to support NFS file services connected to the simulation servers. 

New research can result in large amounts of data accumulating quickly, and the research team doesn’t have time to spend upgrading hardware or subscriptions to gain access to more space. This is why ease of scalability would make their work so much easier.

The solution

When STORViX demonstrated that AiRE could easily scale from a few terabytes of storage to petabytes in a few seconds without having to wait for a RAID rebuild operation, there was no doubt in the minds of the department’s research team that this was just the solution they needed.

AiRE IntelligentFiler model 3122 was connected directly to the simulation servers to quickly and easily store the department’s critical simulation data. As the heart of IntelligentFiler, AiRE has powerful features that serve as the lifeblood of the full AiRE IntelligentFiler solution. These features provide continuous protection from corruption, disasters and breaches while optimal performance is always ensured by automating I/O path management, application profile recognition and data reduction.

Having a unified storage system was the perfect solution in terms of agility. This enabled the research team to quickly and easily use the system so they could spend more time conducting research, which is what they do best. In fact, one of the benefits most appreciated by the department was how easy the system was to install and use. Without IT expertise, the research team was able to easily and confidently provision the file system as needed. They never once had to read a manual, undergo full-scale training, or contact STORViX’s technical support to get up and running.