Washington U Healthcare Researchers Turn to Virtual Storage

The Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR) within Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University's School of Medicine in St. Louis is using BlueArc's Titan to provide back-end storage for a VMware virtual server environment serving the Center's bioimaging research. CCIR is using Titan as the backend for 60-plus VMware ESX virtual machines.

CCIR uses the Radiology department's Titan implementation, which was performing as backup storage for images and raw data. Rather than add storage attached network technology at additional expense, the center chose a virtualization strategy using VMware ESX, tied into Titan via Network File System (NFS) protocol.

The storage system creates a unified directory structure across file system types, allowing CCIR to manage virtual storage pools and file systems without affecting how users access their files. The center has also leveraged Titan's file virtualization capabilities to allow for direct transfer of large data sets from the CCIR's biomedical imaging scanners directly to shared file systems. Additionally, CCIR is using Titan's replication capabilities to duplicate the virtual machines over to a secondary site for simplified disaster recovery purposes.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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