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September 9, 2011

Nencki Institute builds virtualization platform with Cisco UCS technology

To offer cloud computing services to other research facilities

By CBR Staff Writer

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology has built an IT platform based on Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) technology to consolidate its physical servers on a virtual platform and to protect data.

The network and the server infrastructure together provide a unified virtualization layer covered by Cisco’s common maintenance policy.

The virtual data center infrastructure is used to store key research data, including microscope images and a three-dimensional atlas of the brain of small mammals that is currently being developed by the institute.

The server infrastructure supports a large number of servers and helps reduce operating costs through lower power consumption, simplified and centralized management, and reduced cabling needs.

The Cisco UCS architecture includes a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, x86 servers and a management system.

The network is based on the Cisco Unified Fabric concept, in which 10 Gigabit Ethernet is used for all types of transmissions.

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The new virtualization platform also enables full automation of IT processes and accelerated deployment of cloud-based services both for the institute and other research units of Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS).

The new platform will also be used by PAS Digital Library Repository, which provides access to digital data for scientists, research workers and students.

The repository stores digitalized research papers, archive materials, research documentation and written cultural heritage, selected from collections of 16 Polish research institutes libraries.

The consortium is planning to digitalize more than 25,000 items from the collections of the members’ libraries and make them available through a Web-based repository.

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology IT department head Miroslaw Sikora said they now have a reliable, consolidated, scalable IT platform which is easy to expand and enables further development to meet the increasing demand for IT services within their institute and at research and industry partners.

Cisco Poland Public Sector regional sales manager Piotr Skirski said virtualization ensures high flexibility of the IT environment, which was a key requirement in view of the diversified applications and research activities at Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology.

"Also, the deployed solution improves data access, enables faster image processing, supports efficient visualization of research results, and facilitates management. Those elements are indispensable for a modern laboratory to function and to conduct research," Skirski said.

The expansion of the IT infrastructure at Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology was implemented under the Innovative Economy Operational Program co-financed by the European Union.

The deployment was carried out by Comtegra, a Cisco Select Certified Partner in Poland.

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