Platform LSF ActiveCluster enables Princess Margaret Hospital to boost cancer research

Toronto 12 March 2002Princess Margaret Hospital, a comprehensive cancer research, teaching, and treatment facility, has selected Platform LSF ActiveCluster to harness idle compute cycles from desktop PCs during off-peak hours. By utilising the full power of its desktop PC resources, Princess Margaret Hospital will improve collaboration between the 1500 scientists, technical staff, students, and trainees in these institutes to dramatically accelerate cancer research serving as a basis for life-saving developments.


Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. Initially, Platform LSF ActiveCluster will link desktop computers from the Princess Margaret Hospital-affiliated Ontario Cancer Institute to boost compute power for large database searches and selected eHealth projects. Over the next few months, thousands of additional computers from across the three hospital sites making up University Health Network will be tapped to improve the computing power and reduce time to discovery in a variety of biomedical fields, ultimately improving patient care.

Princess Margaret Hospital joins other life sciences organisations such as Entelos Inc. and the French Téléthon that have selected Platform LSF ActiveCluster to harness idle desktop cycles and accelerate time to discovery. Entelos is using Platform LSF ActiveCluster to enable its scientists to run faster simulations and accelerate the in silico or in computer discovery and development of new drug therapies. In addition, Platform LSF ActiveCluster is linking 180.000 PCs across Europe for the French Téléthon's "Decrypthon" project to speed genetic research for muscular dystrophy. Beyond these examples, leading pharmaceutical firms around the world are integrating Platform LSF ActiveCluster with compute-intensive bio-informatics applications.

"With Platform LSF ActiveCluster, Princess Margaret Hospital can create a virtual supercomputer, which can run even more analyses, tackle more complex computations, and significantly shorten time to life-saving discoveries", stated Yury Rozenman, Director, Life Sciences Business Development, Platform. "In most instances, these PCs are not fully utilised. During the day, the Platform LSF ActiveCluster client runs as a continuous background process, so the PC user sees no decrease in performance. During off-peak hours, throughout the night, for example, when the computer power would not normally be used, it can be used to accelerate cancer research."

Platform will also implement additional components of Platform's distributed computing software to provide Princess Margaret Hospital with an integrated life sciences solution, including Platform LSF for enterprise wide workload management on dedicated research compute resources and clusters; Platform Intelligence for performance management to provide visibility into performance across resources, strategic and capacity planning, and intelligence for asset management; Platform Clusterware for comprehensive cluster management to maximise the cost-effective, high performance potential of Linux clusters; Platform SiteAssure for resource management to ensure supply of critical compute resources; and Platform Grid computing solutions for enterprise and global computing capability.

Platform solutions currently distribute computing jobs to servers and workstations in more than half of the Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and chemical companies. Platform solutions enabled the world-renowned United Kingdom-based Sanger Institute to crack the DNA code of Chromosome 22, paving the way for huge advances in medical diagnosis and treatment. Platform software also played an integral role in enabling Celera Genomics to map the human genome more than two years ahead of schedule.

Details about the Entelos and the French Téléthon initiatives are available in the following VMW January 2002 articles:

Leslie Versweyveld

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