Technological and computational advances in the life sciences have provided unprecedented insight into fundamental biological processes, but have also created challenges for IT infrastructure due to the ever-increasing volume of data. Electron microscopy, for example, can easily generate up to several terabytes of images during a single data collection. Life science data is also increasingly being analyzed by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality applications that require fast access to large data sets. Scientists at the Max Perutz Labs have access to state-of-the-art scientific facilities at the Vienna BioCenter, and several high-performance computing clusters to process and interpret data, but accessible storage capacity has been lacking.
“With the grant we will create an easily available data repository that will enable the fast and secure transfer of large amounts of data between scientific facilities, high-performance computing clusters, and the research groups that use them”, explains Matthias Bärnthaler, Head of IT at the Max Perutz Labs. The project partners include among others the Division of Computational Systems Biology (CUBE, headed by Thomas Rattei), the Vienna University Computer Center (ZID), and the Max Perutz Labs. The project is scheduled to run from January 2023 until the end of 2025. The operation of the infrastructure, which will initially provide five petabytes (5000 terabytes) of storage, is expected to go live in early 2024.