Institute IT services are back up and running

Updated on 31 August 2013

The Sanger Institute’s IT services – both web and and data services – are back up and running after downtime for essential maintenance

First posted on 28 August

By Tim Cutts

Cabling in the Data Centre at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Institute’s Data Centre firewall will be upgraded Saturday 31 August, causing some disruption to our systems

The Institute’s genomic and other scientific data are a major resource for researchers around the world. To make sure we can continue to support that global effort, we will upgrade essential systems on Saturday 31 August, leading to some loss of services during the day.

Our researchers are delivering increasing amounts of data, thanks to the expansion of next-generation DNA sequencing, cellular genetics, knockout model organism data and results from other platforms. These resources are delivered from the Institute’s Data Centre, one of the largest life science compute centres in Europe. Each week, there are more than 125,000 visits to Institute web sites, accessing around 750,000 pages. And web access is but one part of delivery of Institute scientific results.

To build in resilience to deliver these important resources efficiently and to build in capacity to sustain future growth, we will make a major upgrade to essential systems on Saturday 31 August.

Our IT teams will upgrade the Institute’s firewall to provide ten times its current capacity. We need to future proof our delivery of research results: the important data we hold here are produced by our researchers and by researchers from around the world and used by scientists from around the world.

Our role in Scientific Computing is to ensure those data are there when needed and that researchers can make discoveries as efficiently as possible. We have looked carefully at how best we can build in this resilience and this is our best approach.

We expect that the improvement will dramatically increase capacity of Institute services, helping to better serve users of Institute resources.

Staff will be working on the upgrade between 09.00 and 17.00 UK time on Saturday 31 August. The Network Team, who will be leading the work, expect disruption to be minimal but want to make sure as many users as possible are aware of the time at risk.

The website, ftp site and other services could be affected.

We’re really sorry that we will cause some disruption on Saturday, but we’ve planned carefully to try to ensure that disruption is as brief as possible. We know that things can take an unfortunate turn, but we have contingencies in place.

If you have any questions about the disruption, please email contact@sanger.ac.uk. Adding ‘System upgrade’ to the subject will help us to respond.

Tim Cutts is Head of Scientific Computing, responsible for the thousands of servers, multi-petabytes of storage, databases and web services used by Institute scientists in their research more…

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