Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation protects genome research with Spectra

Spectra BlackPearl NAS


The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human diseases. Employing more than 450 staff members, its scientists focus on such critical research areas as cancer, diseases of aging, lupus and cardiovascular disease.

Being a not-for-profit organization, OMRF has an especially strong emphasis on financial stewardship. The Spectra solution was a good fit. Not only in terms of financial considerations like affordability, product functionality and value for cost, but also because we like to engage in longterm relationships with our vendors, and Spectra has proven to be a trusted advisor when helping us problem solve our data storage challenges.

— Brent Keck, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, OMRF

The Challenge

Much of their research on autoimmune diseases is based on genomic sequencing – identifying a genetic cause or marker to improve diagnosis and treatment. OMRF’s next-generation sequencers, also known as high-throughput sequencers, allow researchers to map a dozen or more entire human genomes, each of which contains three billion DNA base pairs, in just 36 hours. Just one whole genome can generate anywhere from 100GB to 200GB of raw data. As the research moves forward, analysts examine the findings, producing and aggregating even more data.

The Solution

OMRF backs up HPC data from their onsite Isilon primary storage to the Spectra NAS located offsite in a secure data center about 20 miles south. Backups are preserved based on data usage, with files that have not been touched in more than 90 days being deleted from the system. The Spectra NAS Solution easily handles the size of these files, providing instant replication and seamless restores, all which are critical to supporting the organization’s research.

As OMRF was deploying the Spectra solution, a secondary opportunity arose. The institute was implementing a new security system with Genetec, and needed additional storage to act as a landing zone for the captured camera footage. In an effort to bridge the gap between administration and research, IT introduced this concurrent workflow to the Spectra architecture, effectively using the Spectra NAS technology in a joint venture for science, backup and administrative functions.

Environment Snapshot

  • Spectra 4U NAS Solution
  • Seventy-nine 12TB SAS drives
  • One expansion chassis
  • Commvault Backup Solution
  • Genetec Security Infrastructure

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