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For IIHS, data is precious cargo and Qumulo is the technology of choice

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is dedicated to reducing the losses — including deaths, injuries and property damage — from motor vehicle crashes.

“Our primary focus here at the VRC [Vehicle Research Center] is consumer education. We’re trying to get people to buy the safer vehicles. That’s why we do the testing,” said Pat Creegan, Network Administrator at IIHS.

Vehicle testing creates massive amounts of data—half a terabyte per test. That’s where Qumulo comes in.

More data, more problems

Prior to partnering with Qumulo, IIHS struggled with familiar file storage problems. Rapidly growing amounts of data created issues with management, file retrieval, slow load times, and other unexpected challenges.

“We kind of got caught by surprise about how often we had to retrieve what we thought was archival data. And the time that it took to retrieve that data was actually really impacting our workflows, especially for our video folks that deal with really huge files,” Creegan said.

IIHS now uses Qumulo’s built-in analytics and visibility tools to solve these problems.

“There are times when we have to find out why a certain data area grew like crazy. Why, what happened?… Why was this particular area storage utilized to a greater degree than we expected? We utilized [Qumulo’s] tools to see where the growth is. It’s actually very important for us,”  Creegan said.

Smarter scaling, true scale-out

IIHS also benefits from Qumulo’s clustered architecture. In the Qumulo file system, both capacity and performance scale linearly as demand increases.

Mike Powell, Director of IT at IIHS, noted that other storage technologies are unable to scale without adding hardware or expensive system upgrades.

“We’ve had several different storage solutions in the past. One thing that they all suffered from was this requirement that once you grow to a certain point, you then need to upgrade some major component of the system or buy a whole new system,” Powell said.

But with Qumulo, scaling is easy.

“It really is a scale-out system. To expand, you just need to buy new nodes and add them on,” Powell said. “That was a huge selling point for us, to help us be flexible for these changing storage growth rates that we’re seeing.”

“Adding more storage is not painful,” Creegan said.

Improved performance gives bandwidth a boost

Jeff Babcox, Technical Director at IIHS, has seen significant performance improvements with Qumulo. “We used to have storage that was a lot slower… about 600 megabits per second,” he said.

With Qumulo, Babcox says they’ve increased their bandwidth by five times, to around 3000 megabits.

Watch the IIHS video to learn more.

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