Linux helps further genetic research, ASP model

A cluster of Linux servers was recently deployed by Sequenom Inc., a genetics research firm, with the intent to offer the company's database of millions of gene sequences as an outsourced application to research institutions.

The cluster was built on technology from Linux NetworX Corp. and will power RealSNP.com, an ASP service where life science researchers will be able to use Sequenom's research. Sequenom says the new service will eliminate restrictions genetic research once had to deal with, where access to traditional supercomputer-level resources and genetic databases was cost prohibitive.

Linux NetworX provided a customized version of its Evolocity product to Sequenom. Evolocity is a vertically rack-mounted cluster chassis that supports x86-based AMD Athlon processor nodes. While Linux NetworX builds most of its clusters as alternative supercomputing products, the company also added high availability Web server and database server applications to the Sequenom cluster. The genetic research firm now uses the cluster as a three-in-one system for research number crunching, database serving for organizing the data, and Web serving for delivery of the data as an ASP.

If you're not running a gene sequencing lab, Linux NetworX offers Evolocity clusters in three prepackaged flavors: the 25-node Evolocity 4500, the 10-node 2100, and the five-node 1240 model. The enterprise versions include uninterruptible power supply and management hardware for controlling the Linux nodes in the cluster as well as 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet for network connectivity. Large enterprise Linux clustering customers of Linux NetworX include The Boeing Co., Raytheon Co., Dow Chemical Co. and the University of Utah.

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