Research Computing Support (RCS), the high-performance computing shared resource of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) respectfully requests funds to upgrade the current 243-node, high-performance computing (HPC) cluster created in 2004 and expanded in 2006. The proposed upgrade involves retiring the 60 oldest nodes, then adding 123 new compute nodes and their supporting equipment to achieve a cluster capacity of 306 nodes with 1, 2, and 4-core CPUs. The new system offers a 150% increase in processing power and 300% increase in memory capacity. The expanded capacity will enable deep and efficient analysis of genome-wide association and proteomic studies, decrease the currently unacceptably high failure rates of simulation experiments, and accommodate the recent 80% growth in computing intensive research, much of which is not possible on the current cluster. The core user group for the new HPC cluster consists of at least 15 NIH-funded research groups at the Center numerous areas whose biomedical research aimed at eradicating cancer and other diseases is dependent on computationally intensive technical approaches as diverse as protein folding, modeling HIV infection and epidemics, proteomics, genome-wide association studies, multiparameter flow cytometry, and high-throughput sequencing. Several of our researchers are currently experiencing substantial delays in accomplishing their work using our current system. Others have projects that cannot be done at all on the existing instrument. (See Research Projects section for details). RCS has operated the current HPC cluster for six years and has a staff with a combined 146 years of experience. The proposed new HPC cluster will be installed in available space in an FHCRC datacenter. The expanded cluster will address both immediate and future needs of our user community, supporting NIH-funded research at the FHCRC.

Public Health Relevance

We are requesting an expanded high-performance computing (HPC) cluster to provide capacity for the growing computational needs in a broad range of biomedical research studies at our center. Access to fast, reliable HPC clusters is critically important for the translation of the explosion of data produced by large-scale proteomics, genomics, and epidemiological studies into improved prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Major areas of NIH-funded research at our center that will greatly benefit from the increased data-analysis capacity and improved performance of the requested HPC cluster include large-scale genetic epidemiologic studies of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers;modeling of vaccine efficacy and infectious disease transmission;and proteomic-based biomarker discovery.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-Q (30))
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Birken, Steven
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
United States
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