Life Sciences IT

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Life Sciences Storage Needs

While Big Data needs are increasing across almost every sector, this is especially true in life sciences IT. From large enterprises and pharmaceutical companies, to individual researchers, life sciences research requires storage solutions that are motivated by a number of significant challenges within the field:

    • Rapid scientific innovation. In 2008, one megabase of a DNA sequence cost $10. By 2012, this price dropped to under 10 cents. This drastic price decrease has resulted in more analysis and, ultimately more data. While the average lifespan of major lab and research instrumentation is only a few months, enterprise IT solutions have a lifespan of three to five years. IT cannot keep up with science.
    • Slow lab-to-IT changes. IT departments are not always kept abreast of lab instrumentation upgrades and advances, including do-it-yourself fixes, new sensors, etc. When these occur in the lab, storage platforms are not always altered to address them, and life sciences storage needs change.
    • Large data generation and use. More sequencing and analysis results in more data. In addition, most data is retained anywhere from a few years to 15 or more.
    • Multidisciplinary data use. Research has become so multidisciplinary that analysis of the data is discipline-specific, including any necessary analysis tools used. Each discipline has its own storage and workload needs.

To successfully address the needs of life sciences research, organizations need solutions that meet the following minimum requirements:

    • High capacity and scalable. Given the increased life sciences storage needs across various disciplines, it is self-evident that any solution must be capable of handling high input, compute intensive data, and is easily scalable.
    • Support various file types and access patterns. Since there is no standard file type or size, block size, or access pattern, solutions must support a wide range of options.
    • Support multi-protocol access. This includes instrument control workstations, which have fixed and immutable network file access protocols.
    • Support simultaneous shared access. Due to the multidisciplinary use of data, storage must support access from multiple instruments, systems, and people.
    • Cost-effective. Solutions should minimize operational expenses as they scale.
    • Hardware RAID. Solutions should be capable of handling RAID, a method of striping across multiple hard drives into single distinguishable storage array. Hardware RAID offers fault tolerance and redundancy beyond what can be accomplished with a single disk.

Nfina Technologies NAS solutions deliver the high-performance, high-value components necessary for building and scaling in life sciences IT. Our 714i20 and 814i4 storage servers are efficient, high-speed, and high-reliability solutions for big data applications, such as those required in life sciences research. Backed by our three-year limited warranty, our Nfina Technologies solutions allow for flexible, low-cost, cross-brand solutions. Whether you’re a large enterprise, research facility, healthcare organization, or university research program, Nfina Technologies has a NAS solution suitable for ensuring your information is accessible and secure.