[Bioclusters] servers for bio web services setup

Chris Dwan cdwan at bioteam.net
Thu Jan 13 10:03:17 EST 2005

This sounds like a really cool project.   Good luck with it.

Depending on how the services are implemented, and on how people use 
them, the requirements could vary wildly.

Important questions that spring to mind (and I'm sure you've thought of 
these too) are:

* Will your server(s) be a potential bottleneck for data and results?  
I.e:  When input queries and results are exchanged between user and 
compute resource, will all of the bytes have to pass through the 

* Will your server(s) cache results for potentially large searches?  
This could require large amounts of fast file storage.

* What local services will you provide from this server?  Even 
lightweight things like rendering graphics from BLAST reports can cause 
substantial loads if they are done by hundreds of users simultaneously.

That said, a well set up web services environment shouldn't require 
much more hardware than similarly specified web server.  Decent 
network, lots of memory, and (depending on how much downtime you're 
willing to tolerate) a failover /  load balanced twin sitting beside 

-Chris Dwan
  The BioTeam

> He wants to set up a bio facility which provides web/grid services
> (probably Axis or GT3/4) to a substantial user community (UK-wide but
> with access control, so probably in the region of hundreds or perhaps
> thousands of potential users). Services will include the usual things
> things like BLAST, ClustalW, protein structure analysis etc. -- 
> probably
> a small subset of what EBI offers.
> The computational back end is likely to be our UK National Grid or
> similar, but either way he is only providing the server that hosts the
> middleware and metascheduler. He is wondering what hardware setup setup
> is best for this. We are probably looking at running the web/grid
> services out of Tomcat.
> Would a single high-spec machine be sufficient for this kind of thing?
> Or would one have several servers doing the same thing in parallel?
> In which case, what spec should they have and how would they be
> coordinated?
> many thanks
> Micha
> -- 
> --------------------------------------------------
> Dr Micha M Bayer
> Grid Developer, BRIDGES Project
> National e-Science Centre, Glasgow Hub
> 246c Kelvin Building
> University of Glasgow
> Glasgow G12 8QQ
> Scotland, UK
> Email: michab at dcs.gla.ac.uk
> Project home page: http://www.brc.dcs.gla.ac.uk/projects/bridges/
> Personal Homepage: http://www.brc.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~michab/
> Tel.: +44 (0)141 330 2958
> _______________________________________________
> Bioclusters maillist  -  Bioclusters at bioinformatics.org
> https://bioinformatics.org/mailman/listinfo/bioclusters

More information about the Bioclusters mailing list