One of the purposes of the FGCZ is to support reuse and synergy of experimental results among the research groups using our facilities. Towards this goal the FGCZ provides central an extensive computing environment and a state of the art collection of software packages. All data generated during experiments is stored at our central data repository. All experimental data is already centrally stored, and may be processed and analyzed using extensive computing facilities available to our users.
The computing infrastructure at the FGCZ is highly diverse and includes about 50 PCs attached to the instruments, about 10 user analysis PCs, a lot of computers dedicated to FGCZ employees and about 30 servers. Some servers manage the data from the instruments, do backups, serve 10 printers and provide a central user database, but most of the servers are connected to our grid engine cluster infrastructure doing bioinformatic analysis. Due to the fact, that some of the Bio-Informatic Software needs databases in the background, some Oracle Databases and a Microsoft SQL Server, besides several OpenSource databases (Mysql, Postgresql) are installed and managed by our IT service for this purpose. We use Linux, Windows and MacOS as operating systems.
The servers can handle the data fast and reliable through a SAN (Storage Area Network) with redundant FibreChannel connections. Among the servers we have a Gbit LAN.
In out bioinformatics pool, we use customized self developed and open source tools for data analyisis.
We also support a changing number of specialized commercial applications for all aspects of biological research, such as Samespots, Proteomweaver, MassLynx, SMARTananlysis, Affymetrix Microarray Suite and others. Some of this applications can be accessed via windows terminal server.
The FGCZ uses the network infrastructure of the University of Zurich. The user mangement is handled by B-Fabric , which is synchronized with our own windows active directory service. Secure access to our computing facilities is done with a VPN connection. Standard procedures, automated Windows/Linux installations, centrally managed backup and anti virus utilities provide a high security and safety level.
High Performance Computing
For computationally intensive tasks, we use cluster resources from the Grid Computing Competence Center (GC3) of the University of Zurich having up to one thousand compute nodes available.