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Diamond Light Source

How Ancient Fossils Are Helping Scientists Create a Better Future

For Andrew Richards, head of Scientific Computing, Diamond Light Source, unearthing information from dinosaur bones is just another example of how the organization’s scientific research is changing the world. “Everyday life is affected by everything we do here—from understanding ice cream and how to make it taste better, to drug discoveries and how to make bones heal themselves better, to what happens when batteries charge and discharge, all the way through to using information from ancient dinosaurs to understand how we might be able to store nuclear waste better in the future,” Richards says.

We chose NetApp because they're a time-tested company. We know that in five years’ time—when we need to evolve the system—the professional services and support is going to be there to help us achieve our operational goals.

David Bond Senior Computer Systems Administrator, Diamond Light Source

Making these types of discoveries is the mission of Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron. The machine accelerates electrons to near light speeds so that they give off light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. These bright beams are then directed into laboratories known as “beamlines.”

Researchers from both academia and industry visit the Diamond Light facilities more than 9,000 times annually to use Diamond Light to conduct experiments. Because the amounts of data generated from this process are enormous, Diamond Light counts on NetApp® technology to make it easily accessible to virtually anyone with a computer. Researchers no longer have to arrive at Oxfordshire with suitcases full of hard drives to capture their data. Now they can access it in the cloud.