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Fox Chase Cancer Center adopts Bright Cluster Manager

Bright Computing, a provider of hardware-agnostic cluster and cloud management software, has announced that the Fox Chase Cancer Center is now using Bright Cluster Manager for use in a new high-performance computing (HPC) cluster in operation at the centre.

Fox Chase Cancer Center chose Bright Cluster Manager for its easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI), which gives researchers point and click cluster management, rather than the traditional command line interface. ‘We evaluated many cluster management tools and Bright was the obvious choice, especially since Fox Chase was transitioning from two different Linux systems,’ said Debbie Willbanks, senior partner, at Data in Science Technologies.

‘Activities that are difficult in other cluster management tools are easy with Bright, providing a turnkey solution for cluster management. Using a GUI and a few mouse clicks, administrators can easily accomplish tasks that were previously command line driven and requiring numerous ad hoc tools. There is now consistency in our approach to any problem – glitches are easy to diagnose and solve.’

The 30-node cluster supports bioinformatics initiatives for Fox Chase’s world class cancer research programmes. Fox Chase focuses on RNA sequencing and variant calling in tumour samples, as well as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) data processing, protein structure prediction and molecular modelling, and computational docking investigations for drug discovery. 

HPC consultants at Data in Science Technologies (DST) worked with Fox Chase Cancer Center to develop a reference architecture and toolset for the cluster to help the researchers meet their current and future research needs for conducting large scale simulations. DST originally selected Bright Cluster Manager to manage deployment of images on the new HPC cluster nodes. After deployment, DST was engaged as operational manager for the cluster, and continues to use Bright Cluster Manager for monitoring cluster health and basic cluster administration.

According to Michael Slifker, senior program analyst at Fox Chase’s Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility, ‘Bright Cluster Manager helped meet the need for a smooth, seamless and expedited transition to our new cluster from the older cluster, which had become difficult to manage. This helped us meet our deadline for a very large and important research grant application. With Bright Cluster Manager, our researchers are much more efficient, while the ability to quickly provision new nodes makes the research team more productive. It all helps in our quest to provide excellent computational and bioinformatics resources for researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center.’

The Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is a research institute in Philadelphia committed to the study and treatment of cancer.


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Laboratory informatics, HPC, Research

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