Provision of Vital-IT computational infrastructure access
In 2014, 772 hands-on active users from the Lake of Geneva Area Schools of Higher Education were registered on Vital-IT. In 2014, 6,000 compute cores and 4.9 Petabytes (4,912 TB) of distributed storage were made available to the research community and Vital-IT users ran more than 10 million jobs and consumed more than 8.6 million CPU hours a year (a large cloud computing usage).
Maintenance of computational hardware as well as software licences of the Vital-IT Centre
In addition to the installation and management by Vital-IT’s IT personnel, maintenance contracts are renewed every 2-3 years with external providers.
Provision of services in the field of high-performance computing (HPC)
The main beneficiaries of these services are life and biomedical science researchers at the Schools of Higher Education in Switzerland.
Provision of bioinformatics support for life sciences research in south-west Switzerland (Lake Geneva Area, Fribourg and Bern)
Vital-IT has implemented several mechanisms facilitating the provision of technical and scientific support and is working in cooperation with scientists and on research projects at the Schools of Higher Education. Vital-IT also coordinates the use of information technology and bioinformatics resources in life sciences. In particular, it supports research through integration with the genomics, proteomics and imaging core facilities in south-west Switzerland and by taking part in several SystemsX.ch and international projects.
Another mechanism supporting research projects is the deployment of embedded bioinformaticians within the Schools of Higher Education. Embedded bioinformaticians are bioinformaticians who dedicate all or part of their time to projects run by a research group within one of the Schools of Higher Education, who are affiliated with one or more SIB groups, and who work with this/these SIB group/s on one or more research projects. Other embedded bioinformaticians are integrated within scientific platforms such as the Lausanne Genomic Facility, the Proteomic Analysis Platform Geneva, the Bioinformatics Core Facility of Bern, to name but a few, and are employed either full-time or part-time.
Training and web-services support
Vital-IT participates in nationwide and international training tasks funded either by its research collaborators, by separate grants or by SIB. These include the organization of professional bioinformatics courses for non-bioinformaticians (learning how to use Vital-IT resources), as well as the maintenance and development of the ExPASy Bioinformatics Resource Portal, which provides access to scientific databases and software tools in different areas of life sciences including proteomics, genomics, phylogeny, systems biology, population genetics, and transcriptomics. These tasks, among others, are part of the SIB-wide Training and Outreach activities as well as the SIB Technology Group activities.
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