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Molecular Genetics Sequencing Startup Conquers Enormous Datasets and Confidentiality With ShareFile

“With ShareFile, we’ve transferred out several terabytes of sequencing results to our clients over the last year, with nearly every single byte transferring perfectly.”

Sean Blake, owner and COO of Global BiologicsIndustry
Location
Columbia, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
 
Number of Employees
4
 
Business Challenges
• Sending huge files and managing user accounts across many client accounts via FTP from internal servers was complicated and cumbersome for a small team to manage.
• Notifying clients of project progress and status updates took valuable time to complete.
• Security risks of providing many end users access to an FTP server for data distribution became a concern.
• Small firm faced large server and IT costs to handle the challenge of exchanging massive genomic sequencing data sets totaling hundreds of GBs each week.
 

Business Results
• Sending files is now as easy as pointing and clicking with a simple interface for small file data transfers.
• Firm overcame unneeded server and IT costs by using ShareFile to handle large file transfers.
• Transferring large data files and complex folder structures is simple because ShareFile is compatible with commonly used FTP clients.
• Clients are always in the loop regarding project status with instant upload notifications from ShareFile, which provide valuable real-time updates at each stage of the service life cycle.

Sean Blake, owner and COO of Global Biologics, first considered using ShareFile only for his next generation DNA research firm’s administrative paperwork — a simple solution for providing a more secure back-end portal to the company’s existing website. With ShareFile, staff can deposit project-specific billing and lab reports, and clients can share critical project details all in a centralized location. Initially, however, Blake didn’t realize that ShareFile could help his firm with his other needs — storing and sharing massive files.

Each month, Global Biologics generates hundreds of GBs of genomic sequencing data that it needs to share with clients. Thinking he needed a different solution, Blake considered purchasing a second server and hiring additional IT support staff to help with the monumental challenge of transferring the huge data sets from Global Biologics’ servers to customers.

“At that time, we were on the brink of making a several-hundred-thousand-dollar investment in equipment and staff over the next couple of years. Needless to say, ShareFile really came into play at the right time.” As it turns out, ShareFile could handle his needs better than he ever expected — and in a simpler, more reliable way.

Prior to ShareFile, Global Biologics distributed data via FTP. “That process takes oversight and management,” Blake says. “It’s not point and click. It’s not threaded with the ability to email clients when you’ve uploaded information. It’s very manual.” As Global Biologics averages 100-500 GB of data weekly to share, FTP was difficult and costly for the small business to use, but was still more affordable than other methods of data transfer, such as http transfer.

Enter ShareFile.

With ShareFile, the firm sends massive, important molecular genetics sequencing data sets, and notifies clients instantly all in one email. Global Biologics can do the same with ancillary billing details and quality control information.

“We have this big geographic market we serve,” says Blake. “ShareFile’s notifications help us stayin contact with our clients without having to do any extra work. We’re not a huge firm and don’t have the bandwidth to keep in touch manually with emails at multiple steps of each project, so that instant communication is vital to convey progress in the lab to our client.” It also makes the data accessible via the web for groups of scientists accessing and sharing data among members of their research team.

And Blake discovered another benefit with ShareFile. “The other side of it is security,” he says. “ShareFile has security processes in place, so we don’t have to have IT people on staff managing user accounts and manually setting permissions for every data set we send to a client. After we upload the data to ShareFile, not only is the data stored redundantly, but the end user traffic is also all managed by the Citrix server system. We have fewer network bottlenecks due to simultaneous access of data, and our internal servers are less vulnerable to cyber attack by taking our FTP ports completely offline.”

The security ShareFile offers assures Global Biologics that its genetic data being used to advance research or develop products as part of the genomics revolution will remain confidential between the firm and its clients.

“It’s really simple to use and given that we’re a tech company, we really need to spend our resources on challenging scientific applications by taking advantage of robust solutions for data management,” says Blake. “With ShareFile, we’ve transferred out several terabytes of sequencing results to our clients over the last year, with nearly every single byte transferring perfectly. Billions and billions of DNA sequences have transferred seamlessly, translating into accurate biological results and interpretations.”

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