[Bioclusters] Bottom line question: which system to buy?

Rick Westerman bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Tue, 18 Jun 2002 15:59:38 -0500

    I've been reading the biocluster list for some time but since we have 
been, mainly, satisfied with our setup I have not jumped in.  Now I have a 

    Background: We have $40K of "end of year" money needing to be spent 
soon; a single 3700 sequencer pumping out ~200 sequences a day; and a pair 
of Sun E-450 (4 GB memory, 4 processor) servers providing GCG/Emboss, 
database and local Blast support when needed.  Many of our current Blast 
searches are batched to NCBI but occasionally we run searches against 
non-standard datasets.  Such processing can take over the Sun computers for 
a couple of days.

    What off-the-shelf biocluster would you recommend?  I would prefer not 
to build a system from scratch and would also prefer not to spend too much 
time installing and maintaining Linux and Blast itself although "rolling 
our own" on the software end is more feasible than the hardware end.  We 
would also want to run HMMer and perhaps some other data-intensive software 
on the cluster.

     I have looked at RLX, RackSaver, and the Paracel offerings.  Any other 

Thank you for any advice,

-- Rick

Rick Westerman

Phone: (765) 494-0505                         FAX: (765) 496-7255
S049 WSLR bldg. Purdue Univ. W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1153

Bioinformatics specialist at the Genomics Facility.