IIDS Server

INBRE Supplement Taking High Performance Computing to New Heights with Powerful Equipment Upgrades

August 7, 2023

A recently funded NIH NIGMS supplement ($204,266) to the University of Idaho INBRE Program (Carolyn Hovde Bohach – Principal Investigator; grant # P20GM103408) will provide critical upgrades to high-performance computing infrastructure housed in the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences (IIDS) Research Computing and Data Services (RCDS) Core. These updates will enhance the accessibility and increase the impact of these computing resources state-wide. The specific importance of these upgrades to researchers is two-fold; replacing aging infrastructure that is quickly approaching its’ end of useful life and expanding existing storage, effectively doubling storage capacity.

There is a long history of synergy and collaboration between IIDS and Idaho INBRE. IIDS is the legacy of 20-years of NIH IDeA investment through both the INBRE and COBRE funding mechanisms and is now independent from NIH direct support. IIDS is one of three sites across Idaho that together comprise the Idaho INBRE Data Science Core and serves investigators statewide. IIDS houses high performance computing infrastructure, secure data storage, and technical expertise in bioinformatics, data science, and software engineering.

This supplement will fund vital upgrades and enhance the existing NIH IDeA investments at IIDS, allowing a key component of the Idaho INBRE Data Science Core to keep pace with increasing demand for computation and data storage.

"Modern biomedical research is becoming very computationally intensive, and the demands from U of I researchers for computational and data storage resources are increasing dramatically.”, said Barrie Robison, Director of IIDS and Project Lead for the new supplement. “These upgrades will help us provide the best possible research infrastructure to our researchers.”

IIDS anticipates that demand for computational resources and data storage will continue to grow across the state. These upgrades will assist the INBRE Data Science Core to continue to provide state-wide resources for research, education and training, exposing faculty, students, and staff to data science research. This will engage a wider research community with expertise in biomedical data sciences and related disciplines such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies. loop.nigms.nih.gov/2020/02/funding-opportunity-idea-networks-of-biomedical-research-excellence-inbre/

GPU upgrades will be one of the first installs, meeting the explosion of demand for hardware suitable for deep learning and other AI research. This is a capacity not currently available at scale from other sites within the Idaho INBRE network. Upgrades to storage servers will double capacity in the primary storage system for the RCDS High Performance Computing system, and a new high memory server will add important additional capacity for projects that need access to significant amounts of system RAM, such as genomics and bioinformatics research. Equipment is already on order and will be brought on-line as it arrives during the next few months.

By Michelle Reagan,
IIDS Scientific Communications and Design Specialist