Qld Brain Institute deploying fast storage fabric

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 09 December, 2016

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The Queensland Brain Institute is deploying a new high-capacity storage network fabric to support its research into preventing brain diseases.

The institute will become the first Australian customer for data centre network vendor Brocade’s new Gen 6 Fibre Channel storage networking system, and will use the switches to implement a storage network fabric with 32 Gbps links combinable to a 128 Gbps frame-based trunk.

The new fabric will also use high-performance storage arrays from Hitachi Data Systems as well as a file server and presentation platform from Oracle.

A high-capacity storage system will help the institute eliminate data bottlenecks involved in its research into preventing brain diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s and motor neuron disease.

Difficulty accessing and storing very large datasets from brain imagery and microscopy devices has been a constant frustration for the institute, according to senior IT manager for research Jake Carroll.

“Whole-brain imaging is critical to our research, but as advances in imaging and microscopy instruments continue to increase the resolutions and sampling rates of the data they generate, our storage infrastructure has new and unpredictable demands put upon it every day,” he said.

“With data already growing at several petabytes per year without any pattern, it’s very difficult to predict data growth going forward in a dynamic research computing environment. This puts a premium on storage network scalability. [The new storage fabric] will provide a massive boost in our data transfer speeds to enable our scientists to get their job done seamlessly and efficiently.”

Image courtesy of John M under CC

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