Friday, June 8, 2018

The Institute for Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Studies’ (IBEST) Computational Resources Core recently installed significant server upgrades. These upgrades include 160 new processor cores and an additional 768 GB of RAM.  Early benchmarking indicates this hardware will increase processing speeds by nearly 300%. This speed increase is critical in meeting the evolving computational needs of University of Idaho researchers.

For example, cost reductions in genome sequencing technologies have resulted in the production of extremely large data sets. Analyses of these data sets can take days or weeks, making a 300% speed increase a significant advantage for UI researchers. The number of clients of the CRC has tripled in the past three years, further underscoring the need for investments in UI research computing infrastructure.  

The IBEST CRC supports the research computing needs of a very diverse community of researchers from 19 departments across 5 colleges. Researchers from elsewhere in the country also use the CRC. For example, researchers from Reed College in Portland, OR are already using the new equipment to study how rates of mutation vary across and within natural populations of Daphnia, small aquatic crustaceans commonly called water fleas.  

The $23,591 in server upgrades were funded in part by an Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED), Equipment and Infrastructure Support Award. These awards enhance research at the University of Idaho by supporting equipment purchases, upgrades and repairs related to research and creative activity infrastructure.

Researchers interested in learning more about the computing and data storage services of the CRC should contact Dr. Benjamin Oswald at

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