The solution for Harvard Medical School was to use EMC's Isilon clustered NAS array, which provided a single namespace to which any group could store and access data.
Lowey said TGen must constantly move data back and forth between gene sequencing computers in Phoenix and a supercomputer in Tempe, Ariz., that's used to process results.
"We had a 1Gbit dedicated link. That didn't last. Now we have a 10Gbit [Ethernet] link, and we're actually playing with the idea of using InfiniBand," he said.
One current quandary the IT managers all agreed on was how big data is changing the way they think about storing information. Most said they want to store everything because they don't know what its value may be to the company at some later point in time.
"We're all in the same boat," Lowey said.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.