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Biotech centre adopts virtual symmetric multiprocessing

Virtualisation specialist ScaleMP has revealed that the University of Florida's (UF) Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR) has deployed the company's virtual symmetric multiprocessing (vSMP) Foundation product. By implementing the vSMP solution, the ICBR is able to better harness its existing infrastructure, allowing scientists and researchers to submit larger interactive jobs to the vSMP system. Large shared-memory pools and increased application performance speeds are offered in a cost-effective way.

ICBR's IT team supports research at UF and abroad in various biotechnology fields such as proteomics, genomics, bioinformatics and cellomics. ICBR needed to be able to run legacy software as well as proprietary software packages requiring large shared-memory systems. Because of the high price point of traditional SMP systems, the team tried to find other ways to perform these jobs. They ended up stretching their virtual infrastructure to accommodate these large shared memory workloads, resulting in a loss of virtualisation benefits. ICBR ultimately chose ScaleMP's vSMP Foundation for SMP because it was the only solution that could take commodity hardware and aggregate it into one operating environment with a large amount of shared memory, while also allowing multiple threads in a process to address the entire shared memory pool – something other solutions could not offer. Additionally, the company states that ICBR liked that they were able to create a true virtual SMP for a single system image in which a user can do anything on that system image that can be done on a traditional Linux-based SMP.

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