Think Life Sciences can’t evolve any faster? Bobo doesn’t want to hear it!

Published at http://blog.lenovo.com/

To say that life sciences research is evolving rapidly would be an understatement. Sequencing the first human genome took over ten years and almost 3 billion dollars. Today, costs are approaching 1,000 dollars, and for just $99 we can visit 23andme.com and obtain a personalized SNP genotype. This helps us understand our ancestry, our predisposition to specific genetic disorders, and even how many genes we have in common with a chimpanzee. While sequencing the full genome should not be confused with genetic profiling, the rate of advance has still been nothing short of astounding.

Optimized Life Sciences Codes

Advances in Life Sciences research are the result of cumulative innovations at many levels. This includes sequencers, software tools, processor technologies and more. Lenovo and Intel are partnering in life sciences solutions and Intel has invested significant effort to tune ten of the most popular genetic and molecular dynamics codes to run faster on Intel Xeon family processors. The results are impressive with individual applications being accelerated anywhere from 40 percent to almost 1,000 times.

Lenovo’s Solution for Life Sciences, provides an integrated offering with compute and storage expertise to quickly deploy and execute these optimized life sciences codes efficiently and cost-effectively. While faster processors are important, Intel’s work demonstrates that optimal performance depends on many technologies.

Lenovo is embracing innovation at every level

Navigating the maze of server technologies, switches and adapters, and the dozens of discrete software components that comprise a well-designed system is complex indeed. As processor performance improves, bottlenecks shift and networks, middleware and storage need to keep pace.

In the age of personalized medicine, an oncology database can store upwards of 3.5 million data points and up to 20 TB of data – and that’s just for a single patient. If every cancer patient in the United States had their genome sequenced every two weeks, this would require 495 Exabyte’s of data. How much is 495 Exabytes? It’s basically an amount equivalent to all of the global internet traffic in 2010 and 2011 or about 10 million times as much data as exists in every book ever written. Clearly having the right network and storage technology is important as well. If ever there was a field demanding best of breed approaches, this is it.

A whole that is more than the sum of the parts

The Lenovo Solution for Life Sciences incorporates the latest innovations in technology in an integrated, scalable reference configuration. It includes a range of compute platforms including co-processors, low-latency interconnects and storage components and leverages Lenovo’s global supply chain efficiencies to deliver a dense, high-performance and cost-effective solution.

Lenovo solutions are designed to take advantage of Intel optimized codes. Clients can benefit from not only these innovations, but their choice of open-source and commercial tools.

  • Clients can deploy System x3850 nodes for memory-intensive tasks like De Novo assembly, System x3550 M5 nodes for parallel workloads like reference mapping and NeXtScale systems for larger scale-out environments.
  • Clients may choose to deploy Platform LSF or open-source solutions such as SLURM depending on their unique requirements.
  • Technologies like Platform Process Manager can be used to visually assemble research pipelines and orchestrate parallel workflows to boost speed and reliability
  • Clients can opt for parallel file system solutions based on IBM’s GPFS or open-source Lustre for performance, scale and reliability mapping datasets to the right storage tier depending on performance and retrieval requirements.
  • And finally, working with industry partners, Lenovo can help deploy hierarchical data archival solutions to migrate infrequently used datasets to tape helping meet regulatory requirements.

Any monkey knows, the key to not just surviving but thriving is to hang out in the right gene pool. By working with the best technology partners, and incorporating the latest state-of-the-art components in a proven, reliable package, Lenovo helps research environments evolve more quickly.

Lenovo is doubling down on HPC and large-scale computing with a recently announced Global HPC Innovation Center – the first of its kind collaborating with Intel, major research consortia, and other marquis industry partners tackling the world’s biggest computing problems at scale.

By incorporating leading innovations into a fully-supported Life Sciences solution, and nurturing a partner ecosystem where high-end research in HPC can trickle down to commercial applications, Lenovo has created a platform where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts – and that’s not monkey business.

To learn more about Lenovo and the Lenovo Solution for Life Sciences, visit us at booth #262 at BioIT World in Boston April 22nd .