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WekaIO Accelerates 5 Million Genomes Project at Genomics England

Today WekaIO announced that Genomics England (GEL) has selected the Weka File System (WekaFS) to accelerate genomics research for the 5 Million Genomes Project. Genomics England chose WekaFS to meet the predicted capacity scaling that will be required over the coming five years while delivering the highest performance to its DNA pipeline.

Genomics England is owned by the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care and tasked to run the 5 Million Genomes Project. This project aims to sequence 5 million genomes from National Health Service (NHS) patients with rare diseases, their families, and patients with common cancers. With the support of the public, Genomics England is creating a lasting legacy for patients. With an ambitious vision for genomic medicine in the NHS, including plans to sequence 5 million genomes over the next five years, Genomics England is setting the stage for new scientific discovery and significant medical insight.

After an extensive evaluation process, Genomics England chose Weka as it was the only vendor that could meet the anticipated performance and capacity scaling requirements within the projected budget constraints. In addition, the institute needed a system that could deliver a complete enterprise feature set, with the highest levels of data security and public cloud integration. WekaIO was the only vendor that met all of the stringent requirements of the RFP while also delivering the best cost economics.

The Genomics England cluster required a new solution to allow scaling of the company’s DNA data bank in line with the anticipated five-year growth. Already at 25 petabytes, our legacy storage system had already reached its limit and performance had deteriorated,” said David Ardley, director of technology at Genomics England. “We needed a modern storage solution that could scale to 100s petabytes while maintaining performance scaling, and it had to be simple to manage at that scale. With its clever combination of flash for performance and object store for scale, Weka has proven to be a great solution.”

WekaFS is a fully parallel and distributed file system that has been designed from scratch to leverage both high-performance flash technology and cost-effective disk storage. Data and metadata are both distributed across the entire storage infrastructure to ensure massively parallel access to NVMe drives. Data is seamlessly tiered from flash to disk with Weka’s internal tiering mechanism, achieving the optimum use of storage media for the best economics.

Genomics England is leading the charge on the research front by using our technology leadership to achieve a leap in application performance that is far beyond the capabilities of any legacy parallel file system. The Weka File System has delivered a 10x performance improvement over GEL’s legacy NFS-based NAS and is enabling more effective use of existing cloud infrastructure. The Weka File System will improve overall productivity and empower researchers to become more efficient at analyzing results,” said Liran Zvibel, co-founder and chief executive officer at WekaIO.

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