Biomedical research firm Neurome Inc., which conducts studies of mice brains for pharmaceutical companies, is currently in the process of expanding its datacenter for neuroscience research. Over time, it plans to have one throat to choke when things go wrong, instead of four or five.
Luckily (?) for IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), it is the chosen throat. Systems and software from Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Compaq (now Hewlett-Packard Co. [NYSE: HPQ]) -- all currently installed in Neurome's data center in San Diego, Calif. -- are being taken out of the production environment, to be used for development projects.
"We are going with a single vendor from a philosophical standpoint, so we get the servers, the backup, the disk systems, and the database software from one company," says Dr. Warren Young, president and CTO of Neurome. "That way there is much less finger-pointing when things go wrong. Right now, NetApp points to Microsoft, who points to Compaq, and it goes round and round. This way, IBM is the company we call and that's it."
Neurome will use the IBM eServer p690 system to process 3D models of mouse brains and IBM TotalStorage FAStT500 storage server to provide up to 7 terabytes of storage capacity to maintain its 3D atlas databases of genetic and proteomic data.
Young is still evaluating IBM's DB2 database software against its installed Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) database and IBM Tivoli's backup software versus its currently installed backup software from Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS). "Tivoli has some great features, but you need an IBM consultant to come in and install it, there are pros and cons with each," he says. Neurome also had problems running Oracle8i on its NetApp filers -- although that was more of a NAS issue in general (see NetApp on Red Alert and NetApp: 'Thanks, Microsoft!').