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Globus Provides Reliable Transfer Service for Collaborative Research at the International Brain Laboratory

International Brain Laboratory

Data Flows at the International Brain Laboratory

The International Brain Laboratory (IBL) is a collaborative research organization which focuses on neuroscience, and the study of brain wide circuits for complex behavior. IBL is made up of 22 labs which are located around the world. The initial goals of IBL were to model and create a dataset of an entire mouse brain to better understand neural activity and perceptual decision-making; and to establish processes to merge experimental design, execution, and analysis in multiple labs across different geographic locations.

This ambitious, highly collaborative project faced many data management challenges such as dealing with extremely large datasets, and public data sharing, as many of the labs lacked data management resources. With over 800 TBs of data from over 50,000 experiments and 1,000 videos, effective data management was essential.

Neural Activity
Neural Activity - Courtesy of the IBL

IBL created a modular system architecture to address their data management challenges. The design leverages existing tools and technologies to enable researchers to contribute, access and analyze data. In the architecture, new files from the laboratories are integrated by nightly uploads from laboratory servers to a central server using Globus and coordinated by a central Alyx database that also stores metadata from all the laboratories.

IBL's modular system architecture


  • Globus is so reliable. We have never seen any corrupt data in over four years."
  • I never hear anyone mention any issues about Globus. It works so well. You can just initiate a transfer and then forget about it. Even if your system goes down, the transfer will just start back up when your system is up and running."

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