Department of Systems Biology Information Technology (DSBIT) manages a robust, scalable storage architecture that provides storage services for a number of applications, ranging from desktop file storage to high-performance computing applications. Our fast and reliable clustered Network Attached Storage (NAS) system provides cutting-edge disk performance for research computing applications as well as ordinary file storage. The NAS storage system is integrated into the high-performance computing resources to provide optimal performance to cluster computing applications.

Storage capacity and architecture

We have integrated several storage systems to provide the Department of Systems Biology with over 1.4 PB of storage. An Isilon clustered file system provides 1 PB of high-speed, redundant storage for our compute clusters and user data. A secondary Isilon clustered file system provides daily replication of valuable data to a secondary site as well as additional iSCSI Ethernet SAN storage for infrastructure support.

Multiple Linux-based file servers provide storage for specific applications. A storage area network (SAN) provides 7.2 TB of reliable storage to a pool of database servers and backend storage for server virtualization. A large, scalable tape robot and pair of backup servers provided automated backups of all relevant storage to tape for long-term backup.

By using a combination of multiple storage technologies and platforms we are able to create multiple storage areas that can meet varying storage objectives for data integrity, performance, and capacity. For instance, we have high-performance storage areas that provide high-speed access for cluster computing and "slow" storage systems that provide cheaper capacity. The data storage area makes use of both of these storage platforms, migrating older data into cheaper storage (and back into faster storage as it is accessed again).

We have designed a variety of best-practices data storage protocols to ensure that all data remains safe and secure. This includes security measures as well as regular data snapshots, replication, and offsite backup.

Pricing and information

Our data storage facility is available to support research at Columbia University, or for other organizations. Our pricing model is based on TB of data stored per year.

Visit Pricing for more information about our rates.