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Paracel Partners with Platform to Broaden BlastMachine Capabilities

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While TimeLogic marshals its resources to make its DeCypher accelerator available on Unix, its main competitor in the bioinformatics accelerator space has taken steps to expand the capabilities of its offerings as well. A recent agreement with Platform Computing will give Paracel customers the option to use Platform LSF to run general-purpose compute jobs on the BlastMachine system.

The deal adds a new level of functionality to the otherwise limited BlastMachine, a cluster of dual-processor Pentium systems running RedHat Linux and Paracel''s modified version of NCBI Blast. Platform LSF, software for workload management of servers, desktops, supercomputers, and clusters, will treat Blast-Machine as just another Linux cluster, distributing jobs to the system as required.

Shi-Ping Hsu, general manager of Paracel and vice president of Celera Genomics, Paracel''s parent company, said customers were demanding additional flexibility for the BlastMachine system and that several have already opted to add LSF to their BlastMachine purchase.

Yury Rozenman, director of business development for life sciences at Platform, said the LSF option for Paracel''s equipment should be of particular interest to customers with distributed computational resources.

Rozenman said the partnership is one of many important relationships that Platform is building as part of its enterprise grid initiative for the life sciences. “We want to make sure we own the market all the way from highly dedicated machines down to desktops,” he said.

Platform''s focus in the life sciences is increasing, Rozenman said. “The biggest investment — on the technical and the business side — at Platform now is going toward life science, which was not the case even a year ago,” he said.

— BT

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