The Challenge

The Automated Biotechnology group of Merck sought to architect, implement and support a data management solution that could properly support their new High- Throughput Screening (HTS) instruments that were an integral part of the lab. The challenge was how to analyze then store the mountains of data from faster and more complex technologies. The question was how to provide a cost-effective solution to replace the existing infrastructure while working with multiple groups, within and outside the organization, all tasked with supporting this highly visible team. Their existing challenges included:

  • Legacy server and storage hardware
  • High storage management overhead
  • Computational limitations – needed faster time to results
  • Experience in emerging areas

The Solution

RCH was able to architect, implement and support the entire data management solution including hardware, software and application support. We worked directly with the internal IT staff, research scientists, and application vendors to provide the optimum scalable solution for this dynamic environment. Our work included application testing of MDS Analytical Technologies software on HP compute clusters, deployment of both NetApp and Isilon NAS systems and, implementation of an Archive/BackUp solution based on the data retention requirements of the scientists. We proposed:

  • Flexible and scalable industry leading servers and storage
  • Minimal management administration overhead
  • Integrated strategic plan using best of breed options
  • Scalable computationally

The Results

Through RCH, Merck Automated Biotechnology now has a comprehensive, scalable, flexible data management solution designed to support their dynamic HTS environment. Fortunately, they were able to work with a vendor in RCH that has specific experience and expertise in working with such research groups. Where Merck once had limited means and choices of an optimum solution, the Automated Biotechnology IT support team now has a compute and storage infrastructure that is strategic, enabling, flexible, and scalable.


Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme or MSD, is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Merck & Co. or MSD describes itself as a “a global research-driven pharmaceutical company. Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve human and animal health, directly and through its joint ventures.”