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Sanford-Burnham Turns Big Data Into Scientific Breakthroughs With EMC Isilon

SEATTLE, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, which ranks among the top four institutions nationally for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant funding and among the top 25 organizations worldwide for its research impact, has deployed EMC Isilon® scale-out NAS as the primary storage platform for its wide range of initiatives into Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Using the Isilon NL-Series and SyncIQ® asynchronous replication software, Sanford-Burnham has deployed clusters at campuses in La Jolla, California and Orlando, Florida, providing hundreds of scientists with a single, highly redundant, shared storage resource for their file-based data and applications. With Isilon, Sanford-Burnham has been able to consolidate many previously disparate data silos onto a single file system and point of management, simplifying its IT infrastructure to increase data reliability and accelerate medical discovery.

"Our scientists operate pretty independently, which enables a much wider breadth of research, but also made centralizing our storage infrastructure very difficult," said Eric Hicks, director of IT, Sanford-Burnham. "We tried to standardize on a traditional NAS system, but it was simply too expensive to scale. By consolidating all our file-based data on Isilon, we've significantly reduced management time and costs, while giving our scientists a single platform for all their needs, meaning they can work faster – and with bigger data sets – without worrying about storage."

Founded in 1976, Sanford-Burnham is a not-for-profit organization with locations in Santa Barbara and La Jolla, CA, as well as Orlando, FL. The institute performs biomedical research in program areas such as cellular biology, cancer genetics, degenerative diseases, stem cells, and developmental neurobiology. Prior to deploying Isilon, the institute's traditional NAS system complicated management and proved too expensive for scientists to leverage in their research initiatives. Instead of incur the costs of using Sanford-Burnham's legacy NAS, researchers deployed a range of disparate, often unprotected, disk arrays, which further complicated the institute's IT infrastructure, limited collaboration and left mission-critical data at risk.  

Working with Isilon channel partner P1 Technologies, Sanford-Burnham deployed two Isilon 72NL clusters, one each in its La Jolla and Orlando campuses, using Isilon's SyncIQ® asynchronous replication software to replicate and backup data between the two locations. With Isilon, Sanford-Burnham has consolidated all of its file-based research data on a single, shared storage platform, eliminating the manual data migrations, disparate data silos, and risk of data loss associated with its previous storage infrastructure. Using Isilon, Sanford-Burnham's scientists can easily store, manage and backup data as need dictates, improving collaboration and accelerating research productivity.

"Data-intensive research environments like Sanford-Burnham need simple to manage, easily scalable solutions that allow data to be shared and protected simultaneously, with as little investment as possible," said Ned Engelke, P1 Technologies. "In today's leading-edge life sciences research, traditional NAS just doesn't fit the bill. Isilon, on the other hand, most certainly does and we're excited to see what Sanford-Burnham's able to accomplish because of it."

"Sanford-Burnham is world-renowned for its leadership in helping improve human health and advance our understanding of disease," said Sam Grocott, vice president of marketing, Isilon. "By using Isilon scale-out NAS to secure their groundbreaking research and simplify their IT infrastructure, they're helping set best practices for all of bio-IT."

About Isilon

Isilon, a division of EMC, is the global leader in scale-out NAS. We deliver powerful yet simple solutions for enterprises that want to manage their data, not their storage. Isilon's products are simple to install, manage and scale, at any size. And, unlike traditional enterprise storage, Isilon stays simple no matter how much storage is added, how much performance is required or how business needs change in the future. We're challenging enterprises to think differently about their storage, because when they do, they'll recognize there's a better, simpler way. Learn what we mean at

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world's leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at

The names of companies mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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