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Success story

CLIMB project helps UK researchers store and share medical data

CLIMB

Fast facts

Industry: Medical research
Region: EMEA
Headquarters: United Kingdom
Company size: 15 employees working across four universities that support over 100 research groups

Most microbiologists are not computer experts. CLIMB provides a platform for IT resource access to help them quickly, easily work and collaborate.

Dr. Thomas Connor, Co-Investigator, CLIMB

Overview

The Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics (CLIMB) project, a collaboration between four UK universities, wanted to provide free, cloud-based compute, storage, and analysis tools to help academic researchers produce new medical breakthroughs. With help from Red Hat® Consulting, the project deployed a scalable cloud platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage to support massive amounts of research data and enable global collaboration.

The path to success

Challenge: Share medical research data to support collaboration—and innovation

Prior to CLIMB, researchers at UK universities would often buy, manage, and maintain local servers to meet their storage and analysis needs. As a result, institutions and research groups could not easily share software or reproduce data, key capabilities for scientific research. CLIMB's goal is to use software-based solutions and commodity hardware to simplify collaboration. "Different universities running different systems made it very difficult to share data," said Dr. Thomas Connor, co-investigator for CLIMB. "Collaboration was too challenging. Sharing resources is a great way of getting people to work together."

Case study

CLIMB project supports research collaboration with Red Hat Ceph Storage

Solution: Build a cloud platform with scalable object storage

Using Red Hat solutions, CLIMB built a robust, yet easy-to-use, platform that could scale on demand. "Most microbiologists are not computer experts," said Connor. "CLIMB provides a platform for IT resource access to help them quickly, easily work and collaborate." In addition, the project deployed storage for hundreds of terabytes of data that could scale to petabytes and beyond. "The features of Red Hat Ceph Storage let us share these large volumes efficiently," said Connor. "We're confident that we have the storage volume we need to keep up with future generations of research data."

Results: Easier data sharing for global problem solving

With the Red Hat solution, data can be shared more effectively among researchers—in the UK and beyond. As a result, researchers can react faster to infection outbreaks. "We're good at applying lab work to real-world problems… Because we often focus on issues such as disease, we also tend to be looking at global problems," said Connor. For instance, teams used the system to share information during the Ebola outbreak in Africa. CLIMB also significantly reduced its data storage costs by moving to a cloud-based solution. "The cost per terabyte of the CLIMB system is approximately half of the cost of pre-existing systems," said Connor.

Red Hat Ceph Storage provides object storage and block storage with incredibly high performance. We can use it to store copies of images on our system, so that other researchers can download and use them. ... We’re confident that we have the storage volume we need to keep up with future generations of research data.

Dr. Thomas Connor, Co-Investigator, CLIMB