[Bioclusters] SGI Altics or Beowulf w/OpenMOSIX?

Lorraine Freeman bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Sun, 7 Mar 2004 15:07:39 -0500

. I've been informed that one of our "clients" -- a major Israeli academic
. institution -- is seriously considering the purchase of an SGI Altics
. "cluster" (4 or 8 CPUs, I don't know which) for use in their
. Bioinformatics department.
. IIRC, most bioinformatics jobs are of the "embarrassingly-parallel"
. variety, and better suited to a COTS-cluster running GNU/Linux with the
. OpenMOSIX extensions.
. Am I off-base, or should I try and prevent/delay this purchase?

According to SGI:


We have a freely available "packaged" bioinformatics solution already for
Altix.  In fact, we have had these for many years on Irix and transferred
these capabilities to Altix at it's launch last year.
The applications that are freely available for Altix/Origin are HTC (high
throughput computing) bioinformatics solutions.  Very briefly, our app
engineers developed drivers for the most important bioinformatics apps so
that they both take advantage of SGI hardware differentiating features and
distribute the tasks across the system.  So think of it as a specialized
PBSPro-like environment for Altix or Origin.
They are available at:

There are other documents and descriptions in this bioinformatics site that
discuss these solutions further.

Supposedly no batch system is needed.

More information is found at:




The applications may be free; I don't know if you need the SGI ProPack to
run on the Altix 350.

I would be interested in hearing your experience if your clients do go with
the Altix 350.

. --
. E: horen@mail.iucc.ac.il            Inter-University Computation Center
. T: +972-(0)3-640-5203                               Tel-Aviv University
. F: +972-(0)3-640-9118                           Ramat-Aviv 69978 Israel
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