Thursday, 08 December 2016 11:43

Qld Brain Institute speeding up research with Brocade deployment

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The Queensland Brain Institute has migrated its systems to Brocade’s Gen 6 fibre channel storage network in a move designed to accelerate its work on brain research.

The Institute, part of the University of Queensland, will deploy Brocade G620 switches to provide the speed and performance it needs to eliminate data bottlenecks and accelerate research into preventing brain diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, motor neuron disease, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

Jason Baden, senior director ANZ for Brocade, a global network solutions provider, says Brocade’s Gen 6 Fibre Channel delivers a “huge leap in performance for organisations with demanding big data environments like the Queensland Brain Institute, particularly in the face of its rapidly evolving brain imaging technology and increasing data needs”.

“Organisations can now confidently address performance, reliability and scalability requirements for hyperscale virtualisation, new data centre architectures and next-generation storage technologies.”

Established in 2003, the Queensland Brain Institute is one of the world’s biggest dedicated facilities focused on understanding how the brain works and finding ways to prevent diseases.

But, while it has been remarkably successful in making major neuroscientific discoveries — with an Alzheimer's breakthrough among the world’s most discussed medical research last year — the difficulty accessing, storing and managing increasingly large data sets from brain imaging and microscopy devices is a constant consideration for the institute.

“Whole-brain imaging is critical to our research, but as advances in imaging and microscopy instruments continue to increase the resolutions and sampling rates of the data they generate, our storage infrastructure has new and unpredictable demands put upon it every day,” said Jake Carroll, senior information technology manager (research), Queensland Brain Institute.

“Brocade’s Gen 6 Fibre Channel switches will provide a massive boost in our data transfer speeds to enable our scientists to get their job done seamlessly and efficiently.”

Baden says the Brocade G620 is a high-density storage networking switch that delivers “breakthrough performance and scalability designed to support data growth and demanding workloads from mission-critical applications”.

The Queensland Brain Institute will deploy Brocade G620 switches to form a fully redundant, low-latency storage network fabric with 32 Gigabit per second (Gbps) links — which can be combined into a 128 Gbps framed-based trunk — which Brocade says are capable of dealing with the most demanding data flows. The switches will operate alongside the Brocade 6510 Gen 5 Fibre Channel switches the Institute is already using to handle its less demanding storage network requirements.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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