DDN Powers Fight Against Ebola at VBI

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imgresToday DDN announced that the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute is using the company’s GRIScaler storage solutions to perform rapid, accurate Ebola outbreak modeling for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

With DDN, we’ve attained a fast, reliable parallel file system to handle all our different workloads,” said Kevin Shinpaugh, PhD, director of IT and High Performance Computing at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. “DDN was best suited for our mix of computational models while delivering both the capacity and performance demanded by multiple users who need to access different data at the same time.”

Since 2011, VBI has relied on DDN high-performance storage to capture, store and distribute millions of simulations, which then are applied to dozens of computational models to fuel rapid response efforts around the globe.

In this case, a team of 30 researchers and scientists on VBI’s Ebola rapid response team initially provided DTRA and West Africa’s Ministries of Health with short-term forecasts on vaccine production and disease spread. As the number of Ebola cases climbed, VBI moved to agent-based computational modeling to provide more in-depth analysis, including regional travel and social interactions and their impact on the spread of the outbreak outside of the infected regions and into other parts of the world.

With hundreds of unique combinations of parameters, many of VBI’s simulations can produce 100 percent data growth year-over-year, making storage scalability a key requirement. As the world’s most scalable storage systems, DDN technology enabled VBI to deploy a robust cyber-infrastructure to support the creation of a global synthetic population totaling more than three-quarters of a billion people.

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