HCP Young Adult

HCP to use BlueArc for data storage for the next ten years

Author: Will Horton
Published: Oct 13, 2011
Study: HCP Young Adult

One major decision has been made to secure the future of the data collected by the Human Connectome Project. The HCP has reached agreement with BlueArc, a subsidiary of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), to provide tiered data storage for the project that will extend at least five years beyond the lifespan of the project itself.

This decision was made after a lengthy evaluation process where multiple vendors submitted proposals, and provided on-site equipment for thorough benchmarking and head-to-head testing. The complexity of these systems, and the high demands of this project, which will serve at least one petabyte (one million gigabytes) of data on-demand to the scientific public, required a 90-day testing window before we could make an informed agreement.

Benefits of the BlueArc system:

  • High data throughput performance for both streaming data (downloads of large volumes of data) and random I/O (responding quickly to live queries to the database).
  • Burst capacity provides the ability to handle spikes in data downloads, especially useful when new data is released and is in high demand.
  • High-bandwidth file transfer, providing the ability to maximize the data processing capabilities of the Center for High Performance Computing here at Washington University.
  • Highly redundant system, providing security of the data against disaster and the ability to tolerate and replace faulty equipment.
  • Offsite data replication from Washington University to the University of Minnesota, enabling disaster recovery of data.
  • Cost effective solution for current and future needs, allowing the data storage system to scale as needed.
  • Strong support from their executive management team, custom-tailoring their system to the HCP’s needs.
  • Commitment to hardware refresh and maintenance over the ten-year lifespan of the project.

A highlight of the BlueArc architecture to be installed for the HCP:

The BlueArc storage setup for the Human Connectome Project includes high-speed disks for on-demand processing, high-performance computing, and full disaster recovery.