ICM Brain and Spine Institute Selects Western Digital OpenFlex Solution to Speed up Time


The Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière (ICM Brain and Spine Institute), an international brain and spinal cord research centre, selected Western Digital to update its storage infrastructure with the extremely fast, efficient and flexible OpenFlex composable open platform.

Leveraging NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), ICM has more extensive access to shared storage, which can be easily allocated to meet any researcher or department need.

ICM also now has quicker access to critical data and the ability to resize and reallocate storage volumes on demand, assisting in the fight against neurological disorders.

The Vice President and General Manager, Data Center Platforms at Western Digital, Kurt Chan said, “Today’s clinical workloads require fast, and highly reliable storage solutions to store massive amounts of research and patient data”.

As the clarity and resolution of clinical imaging increases, Chan noted that more bioimages need to be centrally stored to accelerate evaluations and diagnostics.

According to the VP, “Our OpenFlex open compose-able solution provides easy access to these large bioimaging files in near real-time, helping to speed up time to discovery of critical cures and treatment options.”

He further noted that their scientists don’t want to worry about storage technology or IT infrastructure, and with OpenFlex, they don’t have to,” said Caroline Vidal, CTO at ICM.

“We can provide fast, low-latency access to imaging data, in up to four times the resolution than researchers could work with before. The shared storage with NVMe-oF is just there when they need it, so they can focus on using the data and advancing their research.”

She listed the benefits of Western Digital OpenFlex for ICM including: breakthrough performance comparable to locally attached storage. “Researchers can now access high-performance storage in various capacities, at the maximum throughput that ICM’s 50-gigabit/second Ethernet links can deliver.”

For Vidal, the solution also assures the low latencies needed when working with high-resolution image files—ICM reported 34 microseconds or less for most storage operations.

“Faster time to discovery: OpenFlex performance has a direct impact on ICM researchers’ lifesaving work, eliminating delays and interruptions in the analysis pipeline,” she added.

She continued that ICM scientists can analyse and verify more clinical images per day, in up to 4x the resolution than was possible before, and quickly retrieve archived datasets when needed. As a result, they can advance their understanding of neurological disease processes and develop novel therapies more quickly.

Architectural flexibility: With OpenFlex, ICM’s IT team can quickly and easily allocate storage to meet any researcher’s need and resize and reallocate storage volumes on demand. This flexibility is essential as the institute adds more microscopes and other instruments in the coming years, continually driving up the resolutions and volumes of clinical imaging data.

Efficient, cost-effective operation: With storage centralized in the data center over a fabric, ICM’s IT team can manage the solution much more easily. Maintenance and software updates now take far less time and effort—a significant operational saving compared to managing dozens of storage servers distributed across the campus.

Additionally, because storage is centralized, any new microscopes added can use the same pool of capacity, eliminating the ongoing capital expense of deploying more local storage for each new device.

Scientists at ICM need to capture and analyse patient data from an array of clinical imaging tool…