The Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at The University of Texas at Dallas, founded in 2010, studies how aging affects the brain and researches ways to maintain cognitive health for life. Funded by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other organizations, over 50 CVL researchers and staff members also work to develop methods for the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders.
CVL exemplifies big data in scientific research. Each study requires 150 to 500 functional magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain, all of which must be stored and accessed by researchers. Each scan is 50 Gb and their size constantly increases as the resolution improves. Moreover, CVL has expanded over the years from one lab to six, each conducting studies that generate more and more scans. Finally, CVL needs to back up its research scans offsite to ensure the availability of the data.
“As an image-based, big-data enterprise, CVL constantly needs more storage capacity,” said Michael Karich, IT manager, CVL. “But being grant funded, our storage must be practical and economical. At the same time, our solutions have to enable researchers to save and retrieve data quickly and without disruption. Moreover, we must always back-up our images because they’re so costly and time-consuming to produce.”
CVL anchors its advanced medical research with storage solutions from StorTrends. The organization’s six laboratories store thousands of brain scans on a StorTrends storage appliance with a capacity of over 300 terabytes. “When CVL was founded, we examined available storage options and discovered that StorTrends’ arrays are very competitively priced compared to systems from the big name vendors”, said Karich. “Not only do they help us to contain our capital costs, their reliability and ease of use make them economical to operate as well.”
StorTrends provides the performance needed to rapidly save and retrieve huge imaging files and support sophisticated applications, many written in the MatLab and R languages for statistical computation, visualizations, and programming. To further accelerate analyses, the StorTrends appliance is provisioned with 3.2 terabytes of flash storage for ultra-fast computational processing. In addition to delivering CVL’s primary storage, StorTrends meets the organization’s backup needs as well. CVL backs up it’s data at an offsite facility, ensuring its vital medical research is always available. “Even from remote locations, we can easily administer our arrays,” said Karich. “This level of control and convenience is another reason why StorTrends meets our storage needs so effectively. The solution is extremely easy to deploy,” noted Karich. “It’s plug and play, which adds to their value.”For more information on University of Texas at Dallas,please visit: http://www.utdallas.edu/