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Australian Genome Research Chooses Pure Storage FlashBlade

To deliver faster, life-saving research results globally

Pure Storage, Inc. announced that the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF), Australia’s largest provider of genomics services and solutions, is leveraging FlashBlade, Pure Storage’s unified fast file and object (UFFO) storage solution, to speed data performance and reduce genomic pipeline turnaround times for global clients.

Australian Genome Research Chooses Pure Storage Flashblade

Customer challenge:
Catering to 15,000 worldwide customers, AGRF partners with the genomics community to provide innovative and integrated capabilities across the biomedical, clinical, agricultural and environmental sectors. Having been at the center of Covid-19 research as well as critical conservation efforts for Australia’s threatened species, AGRF’s genomic science solutions are focused on making profound improvements to people’s everyday lives using data.

However, genomics sequencing generates massive amounts of data and metadata requiring scalable, reliable and performing storage infrastructure. In fact, AGRF generates over 10TB of raw data each week, which increases by roughly 4x before making its way back to clients.

Customer impact:
In order to manage these large sets of raw data and deliver rapid sequencing services, it replaced its existing scale-out file system technology, which was difficult to manage, unstable, complex and expensive, with FlashBlade to increase metadata performance, storage capacity, and ultimately optimize its end-to-end sequencing pipeline.

By migrating its existing workloads to FlashBlade, AGRF obtained higher I/O and bandwidth, all at lower latency, allowing compute jobs to finish faster and increasing the company’s compute capability without compromising capacity. Supported by FlashBlade, it has reduced its clinical genome sequencing times by as much as 86% – going from 28 days to 10 days, and as little as 4 days in urgent cases.

Additionally, the company has reduced the time it takes to complete the key initial phase of its analysis workflow from 18 hours to 3 hours, a 6x improvement in performance, while reducing another subsequent phase of the workflow from 10 hours to just 23 minutes, equating to a 26x improvement in performance.

The simplicity and scalability of FlashBlade not only enables us to run our sequencing analysis workflow quickly and frictionlessly, but the increased performance allows us to introduce new technology to help with overall compute functionality. Additionally, FlashBlade can directly connect with Sequencers, including Illumina, to ingest the raw sequenced data, which dramatically improves AGRF’s workflows in the field. Now, we have the ability to deliver faster results, leading to critical decisions being made sooner, while taking on more life-saving projects,” said Douglas Morrison, ICT manager, AGRF.

Case study: AGRF Accelerates Genomic Pipelines by up to 86%

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