Home » Hardware, Picture Gallery » The Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science Tackles Volume and Variety of Research Data with Qumulo–s Data-Aware Scale-Out NAS

The Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution for Science Tackles Volume and Variety of Research Data with Qumulo–s Data-Aware Scale-Out NAS

SEATTLE, WA — (Marketwired) — 11/14/16 — , the leader in data-aware scale-out NAS, today announced that the has chosen to deliver the performance, scalability and simplicity needed to keep pace with evolving research data requirements.

The Carnegie Institution for Science conducts an extensive range of pure scientific research, from earth science and biology to magnetism and astronomy. The Institution–s Department of Embryology, established in 1913, is globally recognized for its innovative experimental studies, using molecular biology, genetic techniques and animal models to investigate developmental processes from single-cell embryos to whole organisms — research that has led to numerous scientific insights and three Nobel Prizes.

Embryology–s research data can be roughly divided into three categories: images collected from microscopes and other imaging systems, nucleotide sequencing data from next-generation sequencers, and the usual variety of common document files used to collect, report and present results. While document storage is relatively straightforward, the imaging and sequencing data present substantial challenges; data sets can consist of millions of kilobyte-sized files, or dozens of hundred-gigabyte files. These files are accessed for processing and analysis from client computers running all of the major operating systems (Windows, Mac OSX, Linux).

Embryology had relied on an EMC/Isilon system as its primary storage. However, that system was approaching end-of-life, and a replacement became necessary to deal with the department–s increasing demands for storage, performance and capacity.

“One of our major replacement criteria was finding a storage system that could bridge that file volume and variety,” says Bill Kupiec, IT Manager for Carnegie–s Department of Embryology. “It had to handle both the streaming needed for very large data sets and the fast processing required for millions of small files. That made locating a workable solution extremely challenging.”

Qumulo is the leader in data-aware scale-out NAS, delivering flexible, fast and highly scalable storage together with the real-time analytics necessary for visibility into data usage. The combination provides the storage performance and scale the department–s team wanted, packaged in a simple and affordable appliance architecture that leverages commodity hardware.

After an exhaustive search looking at more than a dozen vendors, that ability to combine performance, scalability and simplicity won the day. The department selected , deploying a four node, NFS and SMB-based cluster with almost a petabyte of raw capacity.

With the Qumulo cluster in place, the department–s challenge of maintaining system performance across file types and sizes has rapidly become a thing of the past.

“Most storage vendors tout aggregate bandwidth, which isn–t relevant to us,” explained Mahmud Siddiqi, Microscopy Facility Manager for the Department of Embryology. “We care about how quickly each client can get files back and forth from the storage system, or how it handles high volume from a metadata or directory standpoint. Virtually every storage system we looked at addressed our aggregate load, but all stumbled when pushed by a single client. Except for Qumulo.”

The team found that the new Qumulo cluster was able to quickly traverse large directories, feed high file volumes and easily deliver or ingest large streaming files.

When the team has needed help in configuring the system, the support has been a quick call — or an easy Slack channel — away. “Our interaction with the Qumulo support team has been great,” noted Kupiec. “It–s so refreshing to have multiple people quickly, knowledgeably and pleasantly come together to help us sort issues.”

The Qumulo team is helping to keep pace with this evolution through agile two-week software sprints that continually enhance the system, and help ensure it–s always meeting the department–s needs.

“Our research organization falls between the cracks for most storage vendors, with giant imaging sets and millions of tiny genetic sequencing scraps. Finding a system that reasonably handled all our complex workflows was difficult, and in the end only Qumulo was the right fit,” concluded Kupiec.

To read the full Carnegie Institute of Science case study, please visit:

The department of embryology at @carnegiescience turns to @Qumulo to deliver performance, scalability & simplicity

Qumulo, headquartered in Seattle, pioneered data-aware scale-out NAS, enabling enterprises to manage and store enormous numbers of digital assets through real-time analytics built directly into the file system. Qumulo Core is a software-only solution designed to leverage the price/performance of commodity hardware coupled with the modern technologies of flash, virtualization and cloud. Qumulo was founded in 2012 by the inventors of scale-out NAS, and has attracted a team of storage innovators from Isilon, Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft. Qumulo has raised $100 million in three rounds of funding from leading investors. For more information, visit

Tanya Espe Carlsson
Kulesa Faul for Qumulo


Posted by on 14. November 2016. Filed under Hardware, Picture Gallery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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