Pharmaceutical Firm Protects Data at Half the Cost of Legacy Backup

Learn how Igneous enables a pioneering life sciences company to maintain their competitive edge with enterprise-wide backup and recovery.


Download Case Study

Pharmaceutical Company

Location: Cambridge, MA

Industry: Life Sciences

Employees: 100

Goals: Enterprise-wide ability to backup and recover file data, improve computational biology pipeline performance.

Specs: Data Types: Genomics and Computational Chemistry

File Count: 39 Million

Products UsedIgneous DataProtect

Why Igneous?

  • SaaS delivery reduces costs, allowing company to focus on value-added projects, not operational and system management 'fire drills

  • Unstructured Data Management (UDM) strategy focused on automating and scaling backup and recovery for millions of computational data files

  • The combination of Igneous and Pure FlashBlade meets the specific needs for the unique data types generated in life sciences

Saved 15 hours a week managing backups


40x faster to complete backup jobs


Restored 45 days of work in 29 seconds 


The Challenge: 

No enterprise-wide ability to backup or recover research data

A pioneering life sciences company faces tough new challenges as they focus on a new area of medicine called gene therapy. By creating medicines to control the expression of genes, the firm’s goal is to make a profound difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families. As they transition from a research organization into a commercial pharmaceutical company, it was imperative that they upgrade their data protection infrastructure.

Prior to Igneous, the company’s data lived on Isilon HD storage supported by 3rd party maintenance. The system was pieced together as the company (and their data) grew, often without any one person overseeing everything. The result was siloed data that was often under-protected. Backing up or recovering data across the entire company was a massive undertaking, putting them at significant risk of data loss and putting the company’s FDA compliance status at risk.

“We spent 15 hours a week just dealing with backup problems,” said their Head of Information Technology.

Moreover, legacy storage systems were slowing down the performance of their computational biology work. “Computational biology is the base function of how our science operates, it’s our stronghold,” said the Head of IT. As they searched for a new solution, maintaining a competitive edge was critical. The team needed an enterprise-class solution that could meet their computational biology requirements of speed, versioning, and it had to be easy to use.


"We won't outgrow this within the next five years. In the end, the budgeting decision for data protection was a no-brainer."

-  Head of IT, Pharmaceutical Company

The Solution:

Protecting More Data at Line Speed with Igneous

The firm chose Igneous for its ability to accurately organize, backup and quickly recover all their unstructured data. Simply put, Igneous solved the problem that no one else could.

Thanks to Igneous, they can now run backups for millions or even billions of files without babysitting, without impacting their NAS performance, and without the OPEX and CAPEX of traditional backup systems. “There was no question that Igneous was the most cost-effective option for us. We don’t spend 15 hours a week babysitting backups anymore,” said the Head of IT.

In addition, the company now has confidence that the growth of their datasets won’t break their data protection system. “We won’t outgrow this within the next five years. In the end, the budgeting decision for data protection was a no-brainer,” said the Head of IT.

Customer Story - Pharmaceutical Firm - Pure Flashblade Backup


The Result:

Fast and indexed backups across all NAS empower users to recover data in seconds

Modern data protection with UDM means IT can now provide data recovery by version “ridiculously fast”. In one recent example, an entire directory consisting of 45 days’ worth of computational biology work was accidentally deleted. In the past, this would have been a catastrophic event, with no way to replace or recreate the lost work. With Igneous, the company was able to recover the lost data, by themselves, in only 29 seconds! Previously this would have taken weeks to complete, and that’s only if they could find the directory.

By combining Igneous with Pure FlashBlade, the company now has the enterprise-class infrastructure they need for high-performance computing. “The pairing of Igneous with Pure Flashblade is a well designed solution that truly meets the specific needs of the unique data types we generate in life sciences.” said the Head of IT.


"There was no question that Igneous was the most cost-effective option for us. We don't spend 15 hours a week babysitting backups anymore."

-  Head of IT, Pharmaceutical Company


Related Resources

Ready to see Igneous in action?

Watch Demo