Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 15 - Page 65

CASE STUDY from Gambia running analysis on the system and we had teams uploading sequencing data to OpenStack and Ceph during the Ebola outbreak in Africa. This is a large-scale remote resource that we can ship data to, from anywhere,” said Connor. Swansea University makes up one of the key research institutes in CLIMB. We caught up with Simon Thompson, Head of IT at Swansea University, to find out more about the solution and some of its key benefits: The CLIMB collaborative initiative – providing a secure platform for users We chose the Red Hat technology based on the fact that it was open source and therefore we always had the open source ethos and technology to fall back on if we needed to. Additionally, it’s such a critical role we’re running now, we need to think about getting professional support. We brought in Red Hat for its knowledge, but also the way that it is amenable and able to listen to us and support the goals we set. high performance,” said Connor. “We can use it to store copies of images on our system so that other researchers can download and use them. The features of Red Hat Ceph Storage let us share these large volumes efficiently. We’re confident that we have the storage volume we need to keep up with future generations of research data.” The project is also able to expand globally and experience easier collaboration. “We’ve had researchers I think it’s about serving our community; the microbiologists. Traditionally, servers at universities were not well maintained – it was a case of putting a server under a desk and kicking it occasionally – nor were they patched. By providing an environment where more rigorous enterprise practices are applied by staff, researchers can focus on updating the machine with insurance and apps and ensuring the package management is the latest version. Then there’s the physical security of being in proper data centres in universities and the resilience of being managed by proper dedicated hardware and software teams. Keeping the solution up to date and THE FACT THAT 100% OF THE MICROBIAL GENOMICS ACADEMIC COMMUNITY ACROSS THE UK HAS ADOPTED THIS TECHNOLOGY REALLY IS A TESTAMENT TO ITS IMPORTANCE. managed by physical data centres means it’s inherently more secure. Scalability of the solution Both OpenStack and Red Hat Ceph Storage are horizontally scalable and it is simply a matter of turning on additional resources to scale it. It scales in a very predictable manner which gives us peace of mind as we aren’t ever hit with unexpected costs. Other areas of progression the solution enables It has definitely enabled the science to progress. I think it’s the unhindered access to an enterprise-grade piece of IT architecture that makes a huge difference. This group of researchers across multiple universities has free access to this flexibility, power and knowledge sharing which means they can focus on writing grants and on the delivery of the actual science without worrying about IT. There’s the knowledge that it’ll be there when they need it and we’ll scale it to fit whatever demands we have at the time. The fact that 100% of the microbial genomics academic community across the UK has adopted this technology really is a testament to its importance. Recommending Red Hat as a vendor I would recommend Red Hat as a vendor. When things get mission-critical, we obviously had on-prem staff do it, learning the products and supporting it, but as it becomes more popular the impact on people’s research becomes quite significant. Receiving a strong level of support with a company like Red Hat who understands the product inside out is really invaluable. It is also because Red Hat is a major contributor to the source code, so it knows about any strange issues you may be experiencing and can work on a resolution quickly. We’ve only had to contact Red Hat twice, but the team has turned it around escalated and it to staff where necessary. Red Hat really understood the problem and was able to direct my engineers to a resolution very quickly. It’s this great collaborative experience where Red Hat support us with any IT project which we want to undertake. We can’t wait to continue with the vendor. n INTELLIGENTCIO 65