The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organization based at the University of Washington School of Medicine. It provides the rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most pressing health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them.
But, what happens when a global pandemic suddenly increases the stakes and urgency?
Answering the urgent call for pandemic modeling for COVID-19
In February of 2020, the University of Washington School of Medicine requested IHME’s immediate help with pandemic modeling for COVID-19. Other hospital systems and multiple state governments quickly followed – they needed to know when COVID-19 would overwhelm their ability to care for patients, and what they could do to avoid that.
In order to respond to their urgent requests, IHME needed to produce large-scale data modeling for forecasts, and to include daily and cumulative COVID-19 death reports, infections and testing numbers, and social distancing information.
IHME needed help to respond to the new influx of data and create a rapid release cadence of new visualizations without putting existing projects on hold. Qumulo provided the file data platform for data processing with massive storage capacities enabled by Western Digital Ultrastar NVMe SSDs and HDDs.
Along with Qumulo and Western Digital, IHME leveraged Microsoft Azure for hosting data visualizations. These platforms enabled IHME to deliver COVID-19 visualizations within days of the initial requests, and rapidly scale to meet needs from governments and healthcare officials tasked with keeping communities safe around the world.
“Visualizations are core to IHME communications with policymakers for the scientific papers that are rigorously peer-reviewed by journals. Qumulo is critical to enabling us to distill hundreds of millions of data points into a single visualization, which allows policymakers to easily view the results and communicate them to their teams.”
— Serkan Yalcin, Director of IT Infrastructure, IHME
IHME was an early adopter of Qumulo, initially deploying its file data platform in 2015. Prior to COVID-19, the Qumulo platform was already capturing and processing large amounts of data for existing research deliverables. COVID-19 research dramatically increased the amount of data analyzed by up to 2PB/day.
IHME was able to accommodate the sudden growth in both data ingest and processing demands due to the agility of Qumulo’s file data platform, without the need to re-architect.
Read the full case study about the benefits IHME was able to realize with Qumulo here. Download this white paper by Randy Kerns of The Evaluator Group to learn how Qumulo helps healthcare organizations meet the key challenges of information management.
Ben Gitenstein runs Product at Qumulo. He and his team of product managers and data scientists have conducted nearly 1,000 interviews with storage users and analyzed millions of data points to understand customer needs and the direction of the storage market. Prior to working at Qumulo, Ben spent five years at Microsoft, where he split his time between Corporate Strategy and Product Planning.