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Gene Research with Dell and Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series

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Gene Research with Dell and Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series

Business Need

The University of Florida Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR) needed to speed up its high performance computing (HPC) processing power and increase memory to keep up with the pace of gene sequencing, which produces a million times more data than it did two decades ago. Researchers had applications which took too long to run or could not run at all due to memory limits on the university’s existing HPC clusters.

The university deployed 16 Dell* PowerEdge* M610 blade servers configured with Intel® Xeon® processors 5500 series, ScaleMP software solution and a quad data rate (QDR) InfiniBand interconnect to create a high performance virtual symmetric multiprocessing (VSMP)-based platform for genomics sequencing. The solution cluster has run previously memory-constrained jobs up to 160 times faster than its previous HPC solution.

The whirlwind speed of progress in the computer industry happens at an exponential rate that can be predicted. According to Moore’s Law, the processing speed, memory capacity, and even the number of pixels in digital cameras doubles every two years. But there is a branch of technology that’s evolving even faster: gene sequencing, the ordering of nucleotides that make up a strand of DNA in an organism. Gene sequencing is the basis of the whole group of life sciences that study the genetic makeup of humans and other organisms in order to extend life.

Compared with capillary-based sequencing technology of just a few years ago, today’s next-generation sequencing is able to produce a million times more data, which drives up the demands for computation and storage.

Read the full Gene Research with Dell and Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 Series Case Study.