November 30, 2011
Nov. 30 — CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. boosts the performance of its biomedical cloud computing environment.
Biomedical sciences have become data and computationally-intensive disciplines. CSC is expanding its capacity to deliver cluster computing through a cloud interface to a total of 2,880 cores dedicated for cloud computing pilots in the biomedical sector. The concept in the service is being able to encapsulate complex software environments built by individual laboratories and run the entire environment seamlessly in a remote compute cluster at CSC. In practice, maintenance staff can add or remove remote virtual nodes in the local cluster that appear to the computer end users similar as the physical nodes. The new nodes are Intel Xeon based scale-out servers with 10GE interconnect and up to 96GB of memory per node. The installation of the new capacity is part of the emerging Finnish ELIXIR (European life science infrastructure for biological information) node.
CSC's biomedical cloud service pilot is facilitating next-generation biomedical data analysis needs with high-performance computing. "The expansion will help us to meet the resource demands of the existing pilots as well as enabling us to grow the user base. Furthermore the technical design has been further developed in order to satisfy the users' requirements and to bring us one step closer to a production cloud computing service," says Danny Sternkopf, Systems Specialist at CSC.
The cloud pilot demonstrates a distributed infrastructure solution targeted for biomedical community. Sampsa Hautaniemi, Academy Research Fellow, is one of the researchers at the University of Helsinki whose group is piloting the CSC cloud cluster. "Modern biomedical research is data intensive, which requires large memory and storage resources, in addition to pure computing power. CSC cloud pilot is a significant leap to harness CSC's resources to analyze massive amounts of medical data. The cloud pilot helps us to develop and analyze hundreds of next-generation sequencing samples, which would have been impossible without this pilot."
Kristoffer Rapacki, head of System Administration of the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis at the Technical University of Denmark is a service provider who has participated in the service pilot. "The emerging Danish ELIXIR node will provide infrastructure for integration and interoperability of computational tools in life sciences, assisting both the users and the providers of tools in making them easier to discover, use and combine. Specifically, many popular and/or computationally demanding tools are likely to need resources extending beyond the capacity of the original tool provider. Therefore, it is important that mechanisms for on-demand network access to shared pools of configurable computing resources are put in place. Our collaboration with CSC in Finland aims at providing a fast-to-implement and easy-to-manage solution to this problem and constitutes an important part of our tool integration effort."
The emerging Finnish ELIXIR node is an integrated part of the national Biomedinfra consortium with biobanking and translational research. Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland funds Biomedinfra via Academy of Finland research infrastructure grant to participate in the building of the European research infrastructures for biomedical research.
CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. provides IT resources, efficient supercomputers and extensive data storage capacity for universities and research institutions. CSC is a non-profit company, administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture. http://www.csc.fi.
ELIXIR is a pan-European initiative to operate a sustainable infrastructure for managing and safeguarding biological information in Europe. It will secure public access to information about the building blocks of life, including genes, proteins and complex networks. This will support life science research and its translation to medicine and the environment, the bio-industries and society to deliver economic growth. Consistent with the movement towards open access to data and publications, ELIXIR will make important information freely available to researchers across academia and industry. http://www.elixir-europe.org.
About Biomedinfra Finland
Biomedinfra Finland has made commitment to the development of European biomedical research infrastructures (BMS ESFRIs) by supporting a joint pilot infrastructure project in bioinformatics (ELIXIR), biobanking (BBMRI) and translational research (EATRIS) – the Biomedinfra consortium. http://biomedinfra.fi.
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