Scientific research does not end once experiment results are achieved. Instead, the outcomes must be evaluated and verified, making data storage an essential component of successful innovation.
BIOCEV gained the high-performance, efficient and reliable platform needed to support breakthroughs in biomedicine and biotechnology, by deploying IBM® Storage solutions with help from TOTAL SERVICE.
Facilitatesresearch by offering scientists fast, reliable storage and access to data
Enableshigh efficiency through automated storage management
Elevatesthe organization’s reputation by enabling non-stop services
Business challenge story
Championing scientific progress
Without the right resources, scientists cannot work to their full potential, delaying discoveries that could have a global impact. Two organizations, the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Charles University, recognized that the Czech Republic was missing a modern research center specializing in biomedicine and biotechnology, and identified a clear opportunity to support scientific progress.
Michal Sedláček, IT Architect at BIOCEV, explains: “The BIOCEV project was launched to provide renowned scientists with leading-edge infrastructure to enable innovative research. Specifically, BIOCEV aims to support national and European development in the biomedicine and biotechnology industries. We began constructing a new building in Vestec to house the new center, and choosing the technology that would make up our pioneering infrastructure.”
One of the crucial decisions that BIOCEV needed to make was around its storage platform, as the center must help scientists store huge amounts of research data for long periods of time. Originally funded by the Operational Program Research and Development for Innovation through a grant won by the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University, BIOCEV also needed to make optimal use of its budget.
“Any results from research must be thoroughly evaluated and verified before they are accepted by the scientific community,” comments Michal Sedláček. “As a result, they must be stored for long periods of time. In the shorter term, scientists need more frequent, rapid access to their data. We wanted to satisfy both these needs while keeping tight control of costs. With a relatively small IT team, it was also essential that any solutions we chose were easy to manage and very reliable.”
Building rock-solid foundations
To support pioneering biomedicine and biotechnology research, BIOCEV chose to deploy a hierarchical storage platform based on IBM Storage solutions. The organization engaged IBM Gold Business Partner TOTAL SERVICE to help with the implementation.
“The IBM solution appealed to us because it offered all the capabilities we were looking for in a single package, giving us tight integration and one contact for support,” says Michal Sedláček. “TOTAL SERVICE got up to speed with the technology very quickly, investing the resources to make sure they could help us navigate the deployment process successfully.”
BIOCEV deployed IBM® Spectrum Scale™ on a Lenovo server, forming the basis of the organization’s software-defined storage environment. IBM Storwize® V7000 with three expansion enclosures is the main data storage system, used to store the raw, unstructured data from research activities. Two additional Storwize V7000 with 31 expansion enclosures form the Tier 1 and Tier 2 storage layers. Finally, IBM System Storage® TS3500 Tape Library is the Tier 3 storage layer, used for archiving. The entire landscape is managed with IBM Spectrum Protect™.
“With Spectrum Computing, we can set archiving policies so that data is automatically moved to tape after a certain period of time has passed,” elaborates Michal Sedláček. “It allows us to add capacity and provision resources, manage role-based access and backup data very easily. We can also take advantage of concurrent file access, block-level locking and cluster data access to ensure high availability at all times.
“Storwize gives us the high performance we want for active research projects, while the tape library is a very cost-effective approach for long-term storage. A five-year maintenance contract with IBM Global Technology Services® gives us peace of mind that we can keep services running smoothly.”
Finding a formula for innovation
By ensuring fast, reliable storage of data and access when scientists need it, BIOCEV is contributing to the advancement of the fields of biomedicine and biotechnology.
“IBM Storage and Spectrum Computing offer the high performance we need to facilitate successful research,” comments Michal Sedláček. “Our users can rapidly upload data and come back to it whenever they need to, enabling them to give their full focus to their work.”
Maximizing use of funding is a high priority for BIOCEV, and the IBM solutions fit in with that strategy. Michal Sedláček explains: “Our relatively small team can use the IBM tools to manage the environment for hundreds of users. The automated management capabilities translate into a low TCO and limit complexity, helping us to support data at every point in its lifecycle.”
Looking to the future, BIOCEV is confident that the IBM solutions will continue to play an essential role in supporting its service, helping the organization to build a stellar reputation.
“Since implementation, the IBM storage solutions have run smoothly, allowing us to meet the expectations of our users,” says Michal Sedláček. “As our reputation grows, we expect that the high availability of the platform will help us to attract new researchers to use our services.”
He concludes: “As scientists introduce the latest generation of appliances and lab equipment, the data generated by their research activities surges, and the IBM platform ensures we can cope with even the highest demand. So far, we have used only 10 percent of our capacity, so we know that we have the headroom to cope with future innovations. IBM technology is the ideal springboard in our efforts to become a European center of excellence.”
Václav Novák, CEO of TOTAL SERVICE adds: “The IBM Storage project put the main building blocks of BIOCEV’s infrastructure in place. The next year, the organization presented us with a new challenge to solve: securing the infrastructure and data. Following an evaluation period, BIOCEV selected IBM Security QRadar® SIEM and Vulnerability Manager, alongside comprehensive support from TOTAL SERVICE and IBM. Together, we completed a unique mission, which will inspire academic customers across Europe.”
About BIOCEV - Biotechnology and Biomedicine Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University
Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Vestec (BIOCEV) was founded as a joint initiative from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and two faculties at Charles University in Prague. The project’s goal is to establish a European center of excellence for biomedicine and biotechnology, which aims to study cellular mechanisms at the molecular level, the research and development of novel therapeutic strategies, early diagnostics, biologically active agents including chemoterapeutics, protein engineering and other technologies.
- GTS Technical Support Services: Hardware Maintenance - IBM Storage
- IBM Spectrum Scale
- Spectrum Protect
- Storage: Storwize V7000 Gen2
- Storage: TS3500 Tape Library
- System Storage: SAN48B-5