About CiS and NBI Partnership
Computing Infrastructure for Science (CiS) is a department within NBI Partnership Ltd, which provides non-scientific services to four NBI Bioscience Institutes; John Innes Centre, The Earlham Institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory and Quadram Institute Bioscience. The Partnership employs around 140 staff to cater for the needs of some 1100 researchers, students and visiting workers.
Background to the project
Computing Infrastructure for Science (CiS) is a specialist division within NBI Partnership Limited, which provides technical support to four leading bioscience research institutes in the UK. This includes designing, procuring, managing and supporting the High Performance Computing (HPC) and research data storage infrastructure.
NBI Partnership has been using Dell EMC Isilon Scale-Out Network Attached Storage for around eight years, but they wanted to expand the capacity, update older components and reduce the cost per terabyte. They also wanted to implement an object storage system to enhance workflows and the sharing of data. While they had completed a lot of the design work directly with Dell EMC, they needed a trusted partner to manage the installation.
Why S3 was selected
Despite competition from 20 vendors on the RM3733 procurement framework, S3 was chosen as the most competent partner based on three key factors;
- Ability to offer competitive pricing
- Tried and tested credibility, having delivered successful installations for NBI Partnership previously
- A highly respected Titanium Partner of Dell EMC
“We’ve worked with S3 before and were very happy with the service. The team was great in working with two different nationalities, including navigating the customs regimes, VAT rules and all the logistical issues that need to be factored.”
Head of CiS Paul Fretter
S3 carried out the installation of new Dell EMC Isilon Equipment including Isilon Network Attached Storage and Dell EMC ECS Object Storage across three NBI sites including one based in Iceland. The project consisted of:
- Physical Installation
- Initial Configuration
- Testing and management
- Knowledge transfer and training
- Pre-Installation strategy session to agree scope of project
S3 Account Manager Mick Powell said the S3 approach is to go beyond installation to offer a full service to customers like NBI Partnership. “We have great relationship with Dell EMC so we are constantly working with them in the background to identify and smooth any bumps in the road so that issues are resolved quickly and do not affect Paul and the team.”
Outcomes and benefits
Paul at CiS says: “We have achieved exactly what we wanted; more flexible data management workflows and the capacity to build out or scale up quickly. We can take data directly from the lab environment to the HPC servers and move this data into the object storage for fast, secure hosting.”
In addition, CiS is already seeing a significantly lower cost per Terabyte and they anticipated that by refreshing their tech and investing in new technologies, they will see long-term return on investment.
Paul added: “We see a future in object storage. Not only through lower cost but because it gives us a lot more flexibility when sharing data internally and externally. We look forward to continuing to work with S3 and would definitely recommend them as a partner.”
About Dell EMC Isilon
EMC Isilon is the industry’s #1 family of scale-out network-attached storage systems, designed for demanding enterprise file workloads. Customers can choose from all-flash, hybrid and archive NAS platforms. EMC Isilon allows you to store, manage and protect unstructured data with efficiency and massive scalability.