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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

ILM: an all-encompassing set of products and services from a single vendor.
That's the definition vendors who push ILM are pitching (see Tucci Touts ILM, IBMs ILM 30th Anniversary, and StorageTek Looks to Bag Buzzword).

Guess what: There’s no reason users can’t cobble together their own ILM tiers from different vendors. Tim Hunt, research computing support manager at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, did just that.

Hunt created his own ILM system from hardware he inherited when he came to Hutchinson two years ago, topping it all off with SATA drives and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) Tivoli Storage Manager software.

Let's start at the top. The Hutchinson Center has more than 2,300 scientists doing cancer research, including three Nobel Prize laureates. Because of the nature of their work, they keep all of their data. Hunt says the center has 7 Tbytes of research data, and its capacity requirements expand 100 percent annually. He’s faced with backing up millions of files and a database with more than 21 million objects. And Hutchinson’s data growth rate will likely accelerate because of new initiatives.

“This isn’t just a fluke that we have 100 percent growth rate," Hunt says. "It’s been that way over six years.”

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