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Glaucus Proteomics Cuts Supercomputing Costs by Tapping into Shared Resource

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Proteomics research takes massive amounts of supercomputing power, but rather than go the route of Celera and GeneProt, who have spent millions of dollars on in-house supercomputing facilities, Glaucus Proteomics is happy sharing its supercomputer.

The Utrecht, Netherlands-based company said last week that it is partnering with SARA (Academic Computing Services Amsterdam), the country’s national high-performance computing center, via a dedicated broadband connection provided by GigaPort.

Glaucus said SARA would support its research in the analysis of protein microarrays, particularly in the areas of pattern recognition and visualization.

Ian Humphery-Smith, chief operating officer for Glaucus, touted the “incredible cost efficiency” of working with the national supercomputing center. “We’ve made it operational after about six months’ work, [and] I did not spend $90 million to do this.”

The agreement gives Glaucus access to the 1-teraflop TERAS 1,024-CPU SGI Origin 3800 system housed at SARA, in addition to “other,” undisclosed high-performance computing solutions.

A 6.2 mile dedicated dual optic dark fiber links Glaucus to the nearest GigaPort node, giving the company access to SARA via a 1 gigabit per second connection, which will be expanded to 10 gigabits per second by the third quarter of 2003. By that time, Glaucus will have infrastructure in place to back up 18 terabytes per month, Humphery-Smith said.

A SARA spokesman said that several pharmaceutical companies, including Unilever, use SARA’s data mining and visualization tools. SARA is also co-developing a taxonomic database with the Netherlands’ Expert Center for Taxonomic Identification, he said.

— BT

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