Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
June 04, 2012
As the price of genome sequencing plummets, the output of genomics data is skyrocketing. According to the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, over the next few years, the number of human genomes sequenced is expected to explode -- from around 30,000 in 2011 to more than a million before 2014. Forget, for a moment, the processing horsepower necessary to transform everyone's genome into useful medical knowledge; just the storage capacity required to hold all this data is staggering.
As pointed out in a recent post at Technology Review (TR), if every person on the planet had their genome sequenced, it would take up as much digital storage as was available world-wide in 2010, estimated to be just over 721 PB. That's assuming 100 GB per human genome.
But that 100 GB represents a pretty brute-force storage model. Theoretically, a person's 3.2 billion base pairs should only take 800 MB (each of the four bases can be packed into 2 bits). The problem, according the TR post, is that a lot of other data is collected about the bases, and the genes are sequenced multiple times for the sake of accuracy.
One solution, at least according to Harvard geneticist George Church, is to only store the differences between a particular genome and some reference genome. According to Church that would reduce the data capacity needed to a mere 4 MB per person. Using this approach, it would take just 28 PB of storage to hold all human genomes.
And if that seems like a lot, keep in mind that the Blue Waters supercomputer will have a storage capacity of over 25 PB when it comes online later this year. By the middle of this decade, when petascale supercomputers are apt to be much more commonplace, that 28 PB is probably going to reflect an average-sized storage capacity for hundreds of systems around the world.
Full story at Technology Review
In quieter times, sounding the bell of funding big science with big systems tends to resonate further than when ears are already burning with sour economic and national security news. For exascale's future, however, the time could be ripe to instill some sense of urgency....
In a recent solicitation, the NSF laid out needs for furthering its scientific and engineering infrastructure with new tools to go beyond top performance, Having already delivered systems like Stampede and Blue Waters, they're turning an eye to solving data-intensive challenges. We spoke with the agency's Irene Qualters and Barry Schneider about..
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
In this demonstration of SGI DMF ZeroWatt disk solution, Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI CTO, discusses a function of SGI DMF software to reduce costs and power consumption in an exascale (Big Data) storage datacenter.
The Cray CS300-AC cluster supercomputer offers energy efficient, air-cooled design based on modular, industry-standard platforms featuring the latest processor and network technologies and a wide range of datacenter cooling requirements.