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Boston Globe: Firm to build 'compute farm' for Biogen

Nov 01, 2000, 15:16 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Naomi Aoki)

[ Thanks to Jonathan M. Prigot for this link. ]

"Blackstone Technology Group Inc. is set to announce today that it will build a high-performance ''compute farm'' for Biogen Inc. to help the Cambridge biotechnology giant accelerate its drug discovery and development efforts. By pooling the power of an entire network, the company said, a compute farm can increase the speed and capacity of an information system to run analyses and programs that require tremendous amounts of memory and time."

"Every drug development company wants to use the influx of genomic data to bring drugs to market faster and cheaper," said William Van Etten, the principal bioinformaticist with Blackstone Technology Group and formerly a researcher at the Whitehead Institute. "But the information is doubling every six months."

"The farm that Blackstone has designed for Biogen will increase the company's computing capacity almost tenfold - from 18 CPUs (central processing units) to 170, Van Etten said. The farm will connect Biogen's computer hardware to a new Linux operating system and additional Intel-based processors. The farm's capacity can be increased by adding as few or as many central processing units as needed rather than in the predetermined jumps mandated in a standard mainframe environment, Fuchs said, allowing Biogen to customize the farm to match its needs."

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