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FlexPod validation expands to genomics


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Dr. Nikhil Joshi

From scientific research, to clinical medicine, to agriculture, to criminal investigations, genomics has become the backbone for fact-based innovation. To help meet the needs of this rapidly growing field, the FlexPod® technology team has published the first FlexPod validated design for genomics workloads.

To take a look at the design, read NetApp® technical report 4911 about FlexPod for genomics. This technical report describes how the FlexPod converged infrastructure delivers data availability, modular scalability, and out-of-the-box hybrid cloud capability to benefit genomics workloads. And all from a proven platform that is accepted the world over.

Following is an executive summary of the FlexPod for genomics technical report.

Reliable FlexPod performance for life sciences and healthcare

This new solution is the first validated design of the FlexPod converged infrastructure for the life sciences market, but it also helps the healthcare market. Most healthcare organizations are beginning to store genome information about their patients and are starting to perform secondary analysis on that data. By deploying their genomics workloads on a validated infrastructure like FlexPod, these organizations can count on reliable performance.

Validation with a globally recognized tool

Technical report 4911 validates FlexPod against a very popular open-source tool, Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) by the Broad Institute. GATK is used by 36,000 registered researchers worldwide. Some pharmaceutical companies also use custom versions of similar algorithms to process their genomics data. With this validation, our customers can be confident that FlexPod delivers the high performance that they need to execute their genomics analysis pipeline.

Validation showed that the FlexPod infrastructure helps solve genomics workload challenges such as:

  • Extensive storage requirements and the associated costs
  • The need for massive AI power to crunch large amounts of data
  • The need to share data safely and seamlessly across multiple premises and multiple clouds

On the path to meeting rapidly increasing genomics workload needs

This design validation is our first baby step toward helping the genomics market. This market is expected to be the fastest-growing storage use case for the next 5 years. One PLOS report estimates that genomics data will surpass all other large storage repositories, including online streaming and astronomy.

The PLOS report predicts that by 2025, the genomics industry may require exabytes—2EB to 40EB—of storage capacity. Therefore, genomics use cases will require extensive storage expertise soon, and NetApp is well positioned to support those needs. Our validated design will enable us to exceed the expectations of our genomics customers, and we want to deliver more solutions for genomics workloads based on further feedback from those customers.

FlexPod offers the following value for genomics workloads:

  • Simplified management of the large collections of data
  • A bridge for existing storage silos of genomics data
  • Rapid processing of genomics data to derive clinical insights
  • Cost-effective archiving of older data for regulatory compliance
  • Secure collaboration among researchers across the globe

Earlier this year, we published an infographic that describes how FlexPod is a total solution for genomics data management. Now the new technical report is our proof point for the value that we claimed in that infographic.


Learn more about FlexPod for genomics

To learn more, check out a couple earlier blogs that we published about FlexPod for genomics:

Dr. Nikhil Joshi

Dr. Nikhil Joshi is MBBS (degree for physicians in India) and M Tech in Biomedical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India. Prior to joining NetApp, Nikhil has worked for solution management and development of multiple healthcare applications for over a decade, and observed how healthcare products and the underlying IT infrastructure can influence lives of physicians, clinicians, and non-clinical staff as well as their ability to deliver care to patients. Nikhil is a senior product manager for FlexPod at NetApp, responsible for the FlexPod business for the enterprise applications and healthcare verticals, and for the security and sustainability use cases.

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