TGen Teams with Portworx to Solve Complex Genomics Challenges

Portworx Enables TGen to Expedite Consistent Patient Care, Handle High-Volume Data in Motion, and Reduce Storage Costs by Up to 50 Percent

LOS ALTOS, Calif. – JAN. 17, 2016 – Portworx, the leading provider of data services solutions for containers, was asked by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to address the challenge of managing rapidly growing data stores. TGen, a non-profit biomedical research organization, is dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life-changing results. To achieve this mission, TGen CIO James Lowey built a high-performance computing environment, and was seeking a solution to the data overload problem his organization was facing daily.

A core challenge TGen and Lowey faced was the volume of data in motion across thousands of patients. A single sequence of one patient’s data can amass up to six terabytes of data, and a patient is often sequenced more than once. Currently, TGen has more than 5 petabytes of data and growing, which must be moved and extracted quickly for patient treatments. Additional data is required to meet compliance and regulatory requirements. Data from clinical samples must be archived for at least seven years, and as long as 25.

Realizing that today’s tools for handling masses of newly created data — often measured in petabytes per day — are critical to bridging the gap between discovery and patient care, Lowey began his pursuit to simplify operations in his data-intensive biomedical environment. His team began experimenting with containers in 2015, when the technology was emerging. (With containers, an application can be built and run on several devices, simplifying development. A device can also host multiple containers, increasing efficiency.)

After an introduction to Portworx, Lowey was impressed by the company’s ability to go beyond portability of containerized applications by offering portability of data. “If we just run containers by themselves, there are benefits in regards to our systems architecture, and there are benefits if we want to do a rapid deployment across a variety of platforms,” Lowey said. “But we’d still be stuck with the problem of data movement and the data velocity behind it. That’s the problem Portworx solves.”

With Portworx, TGen staff develops regimens to create repeatable treatment experiences while ensuring easy, quick retrieval of data stored up to 25 years ago. The team has also been able to increase scalability while reducing storage costs by 50 percent or more.

The first deployment of Portworx was completed in a matter of hours, and as a container-based technology, Portworx was “relatively simple” to deploy across multiple hardware platforms, according to Lowey. TGen and Lowey found the ability to leverage containers to utilize hardware more efficiently, and ensure persistence of application data across nodes with Portworx invaluable.

“We’ve deployed Portworx on blade servers, on micro-blade servers, and on standard ‘pizza box’ servers,” Lowey said. “We’ve used it on iSCSI servers. We’ve done multiple iterations and different configurations. I would say that anybody who can run containers can run Portworx easily.”

“Supporting a biomedical innovator like TGen is not only exciting, but rewarding,” said Murli Thirumale, co-founder and CEO of Portworx. “This successful deployment shows that Portworx PX-Enterprise delivers higher performance and unmatched agility for persistent containerized apps in real-world production environments.”

“Portworx is one of the first truly new technologies that I’ve seen that could be a true game changer for how we handle many of our workloads,” Lowey said. “As genomics is applied directly to patient care, we need technologies that will drive results.”

For more information on Portworx data services for containers, please visit  To read the full TGen and Portworx case study, please visit: Case Study 1-6-17.pdf. To view the case study video, please visit:

About Portworx

Portworx provides scheduler-integrated data services for enterprises running containers in production. For the first time, users can easily deploy stateful containers on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid clouds. Unlike legacy storage with container connectors or systems built on key-value stores, Portworx is built from the ground up for cloud-native applications, making container data portable, persistent, and protected.