flexFS: A File System Transforming the Efficiency of Large-scale Cloud Analytics in Life Sciences and Beyond

Benchmarks highlight a system that’s faster AND cheaper: innovative throughput optimization can deliver over 500x higher aggregate throughput vs. leading elastic solutions, at under half the cost

  • Easy to deploy, with low operational overhead in IT engineering and cloud resources
  • A single server supports large-scale use by thousands of concurrent users
  • Infinite elastic scalability without provisioning delivers unrivaled productivity, cost-savings and total time-to-answerSM


WALTHAM, Mass., April 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Paradigm4, the data science partner of choice for global biopharma, today announced the results of benchmarking that underscores the significant business advantages of its innovative flexFS file system for large, parallel, throughput-bound data and analytics challenges in the cloud.

Launched in 2023 to address the needs of biopharma R&D teams querying vast multimodal datasets simultaneously, flexFS’s cloud-agnostic, infinitely elastic and POSIX-compliant profile has since also proven its value in other data-intensive fields, including climate science and insurance risk modeling. Its benefits go beyond just reducing operating and cloud costs to something far more critical: clearing bottlenecks that can slow R&D, streamlining the application of data to answer critical questions and delivering business impact faster. Unlike most attempts at building file systems backed by object storage, flexFS strongly delivers on uncompromising performance, reliability, simplicity, and fully networked POSIX-compliance.

Paradigm4’s CTO Gary Planthaber, the chief designer of flexFS, will present on the advantages of flexFS in life sciences research at the BioITWorld Conference at the Omni Hotel in Boston on April 16 at 4pm. Paradigm4 will be holding office hours at the conference April 15-17, and attendees are invited to email for a time to stop by.

“With flexFS, we are offering a pioneering solution to a major problem in cloud computing,” said Planthaber. “Object storage is cheaper and has higher throughput than POSIX-compliant network file systems. But you give up the benefits of fine-grained ACLs and being able to run a deep bench of pre-existing file-based tools directly against your files and metadata. In most cases you still end up downloading objects to POSIX-compliant file systems to make use of them, which introduces another set of challenges. flexFS delivers the best of both worlds: it leverages a low-latency metadata service that efficiently exposes data in object storage as a fully POSIX-compliant file system, which is directly accessible by existing tools. And you get the throughput-optimized performance needed for big-lift datasets without added engineering and operational overhead.”

“We are proud to say that flexFS has been battle-hardened at some of the world’s largest and most innovative life science organizations, delivering unparalleled results in the business metric that matters most – total time-to-answer,” said Marilyn Matz, co-founder and CEO of Paradigm4. “What global R&D-driven organizations tell us they need is a data management strategy optimized to the way that they use their data. flexFS does that elegantly, as a file system that—along with Paradigm4’s other innovations in the REVEAL platform—lets them answer business-critical questions quickly so they can execute their strategy and reduce time often wasted by researchers and IT teams. It enables the use of twenty years of proven POSIX-compliant applications, turning muddy cloud-based data lakes into agile research data commons.”

To see the benchmark results and learn more about what flexFS can do for your organization, visit and contact to schedule a meeting.

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