In 2003, researchers at the University of Oregon Neuroinformatics Center received a $1.000.000 grant from the National Science Foundation to build an advanced Grid computing infrastructure to apply high-performance computing to diagnosing and treating brain-related conditions.
Earlier this year, the university completed the ICONIC Grid installation - ICONIC stands for Integrated Cognitive Neuroscience, Informatics, and Computation - which features IBM eServer p690, eServer p655 servers and IBM Bladecenter J20 servers running Linux, WebSphere Application Server and the open source Globus Toolkit.
The ICONIC Grid allows more rapid diagnosis of brain conditions by harnessing the collective processing power of the school's computing systems. In addition, the Grid offers the ability to better respond to temporary spikes in demand for computing horsepower and helps university researchers gain better access to and control over the large volume of data generated during its diagnostic imaging work.
EGI is a private medical device and imaging provider based in the Riverfront Research Park adjacent to the University of Oregon campus. EGI is working with the Neuroinformatics Center to further study the commercial possibilities for using Grid and Linux-based systems to speed and improve brain wave monitoring at hospitals and research centres.
"With the multiple architectures provided by IBM's products, we can conduct research on ways of optimizing the medical informatics demands for high performance computing", stated Neuroinformatics Center Director Dr. Allen Malony. "At the same time, we can evaluate all of these architectures running the Linux operating system, simplifying our system administration and improving our reliability."
"Grid computing technology from IBM will play an important role in helping EGI provide doctors and researchers with on demand access to critical patient data", stated Dr. Donald Tucker, CEO, Electrical Geodesics Inc. "We believe Grid computing not only brings performance capacity, but allows the patient security and accountability required for critical medical applications."
IBM provides technology and Grid computing consulting expertise to 80 of the world's largest and most influential government and public institutions and more than 50 of the world's most prestigious universities and academic institutions.