eResearch Report 2017 - 2018 - Page 27



Building the infrastructure to meet our needs
resource is so great that when
H3ABioNet developed a need
for extra computing power – and
significant funding to pay for
it – she and her team decided to
invest that money in Ilifu to further
expand the infrastructure.
“H3ABioNet designed a
genotyping array for African
populations, which has been
manufactured by Illumina,” says
Mulder. “Our project now offers
a service called imputation,
which, in a nutshell, adds value
to their data, but this is very
computationally intensive.”
You need a lot
of resources to
manage a system
such as this, and
you need them long
term,” she says.
“We don’t have
those resources,
and also, with the
shared facility we
know that when we
are not using the
machines, they will
be used by others.
Their work requires a very reliable
computing resource, she says –
one that does not have a lot of
downtime and, importantly, where
her team of bioinformaticians
do not have to worry about the
maintenance of the machines.
“You need a lot of resources to
manage a system such as this,
and you need them long term,”
she says. “We don’t have those
resources, and also, with the shared
facility we know that when we are
not using the machines, they will
be used by others.”
Mulder says it is also great
for her team to collaborate
with astronomers around
infrastructure for big-data
needs, because the astronomy
community has been grappling
with big data for so long. It
means other disciplines don’t
need to reinvent the wheel.
25





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