This high-performance computing platform supports the work of a large consortium of UK scientific institutions leading the work in the development of new informatics tools and implementation of advanced analysis of crop genetics diversity data.
The development of improved crop varieties is vital to providing a sustainable and secure food supply to address some of the grand challenges of our time. Breeding more nutritious and climate resilient crop varieties is required to meet the demands of a growing population, but lack of available and accessible genetic diversity has historically limited progress. Developments in sequencing and genotyping technologies together with advances in environmental monitoring and characterisation are leading to rapid changes in the opportunities that are available to evaluate and utilise genetic diversity in crop plants and their wild relatives to adapt to the changing landscape of agriculture. Advanced bioinformatics and data analysis tools enable us to manage, model and mine vast amounts of genomic data to identify genetic markers and traits that provide the key to better varieties and new crops.
Fifty-five physical compute nodes offer access to 112 Intel CPUs providing 1,764 compute cores (3,528 threads) in total, broken down as 100 2nd-Gen Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake; 2019) processors, six 1st-Gen Xeon Scalable (Skylake; 2019) processors and six Xeon E5-v4 (Broadwell; 2017) processors.
The cluster has 15,296 GB of available DDR4 memory. Two large memory machines provide 1.5 TB and 3.0 TB, alongside forty-nine nodes with 192 GB of memory, two nodes with 256 GB of memory, and two nodes with 384 GB of memory.
An eight-node BeeGFS parallel storage system (running over a 25-gigabit network backbone) provides access to 1.5 petabytes of storage. This is complemented by a addtional petabyte of backup capacity.
This resource is available to researchers (and select collaborators) from any of the following UK research institutes:
The bulk of funding for this HPC resource was awarded as part of a BBSRC 18ALERT grant (BB/S019669/1) but all of the entities listed below have contributed in some way to either the purchase of hardware, software, or assistance with running and/or staff costs.
The HPC cluster was designed in collaboration with Dell Technologies and the input of their Public Sector Higher Education and Research Team. The cluster uses PowerEdge Servers, PowerVault Storage and Dell Networking.
Learn more at Dell Technologies - HPC