Cluster developments

8 October 2015

The ABC’s bioinformatics computational development cluster (gduserv) is currently in its fifth year of operation. As some of its components are now nearing end-of-life, we are seeking community input on how the cluster can best server the community in the coming years.

ABC Manager Cameron Jack recently held a forum as part of the Techniques in Computational Biology (TIC) seminar series to highlight a number of crucial issues facing the future of this much-valued resource. In particular, addressing the need for increased storage capacity and performance, and fairly allocating resources to financial contributors, are still the major factors in how major users interact with the cluster. A possible future was proposed where the hardware for the cluster is actually part of the National Computing Infrastructure’s (NCI) Tenjin Cloud system.

Regardless of the physical location or make-up of the development cluster, there is clearly a strong need for this system as evidenced by the community support that’s been received so far. Notably important are the high-memory capacity nodes for de novo work, and the open wall-time limits for long-running jobs.

Proposals for the future system are now being drafted and will shortly be made available to the community for comment.