Dr. Hakon Gudbjartsson, PhD and WuXi NextCODE CIO, knows what it takes to be a data visionary. Using sequence data, he and his team are enabling organizations to unlock the power of the genome to enhance health and wellness.

With offices in Cambridge, MA, Shanghai, and Reykjavik, WuXi NextCODE is a genomic information company and global platform for genomic big data. Over the past 20 years, they’ve amassed the world’s largest database of human genome sequences.

“At WuXi NextCODE, we like to call ourselves the ‘internet of DNA’,” Dr. Gudbjartsson said.

If you’re thinking that genomics isn’t a big data challenge, think again. Although all humans share the same DNA, the sequence of it is 100% unique to the individual. If you and a friend were to compare your DNA, you would find about 5 million differences.

The benchmark for analyzing genomic data is accessing it from data from 100,000 individuals. We always had timeouts or file failures. But when we tested this using the NetApp Cloud Volumes Service, it actually finished in less than an hour. That was a great breakthrough for us.

Dr. Hakon Gudbjartsson, PhD WuXi NextCODE CIO

“The challenge is to take a dataset of 5 million and figure out the differences or mutations that are important — which ones are the causes of rare diseases, which ones are the causes of cancer, and how to treat patients,” Dr. Gudbjartsson explained.

At the heart of the WuXi NextCODE platform is the genomic relational database, the only data architecture designed to optimize the use of massive genomic data.

By leveraging NetApp® Cloud Data Services, the genome platform makes it possible to integrate data on the fly to deliver unprecedented computational efficiency.

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