HP Powers ‘My Genomics Resource Centre’

Itanium® 2-based HP Integrity cluster server delivers the critical computing resources for Malaysia’s first online bioinformatics applications platform for the global life sciences research community.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct 25, 2005 – Hewlett-Packard today announced it has successfully implemented the Itanium® 2-based HP Integrity rx4640 cluster server for Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre (MGRC-www.mgrc.com.my), the country’s first and only online bioinformatics applications provider, which is branded as “My Genomics Resource Centre”. This multi-million dollar deal effectively underlines HP’s leadership position as an innovator and provider of highly scalable IT solutions for the life sciences industry.

The strategic partnership between HP and MGRC for the global life sciences domain is also significant because it includes HP’s commitment to provide extensive technology support for the initiative, as well as a worldwide joint promotion of next-generation bioinformatics tools on the MGRC platform. MGRC utilises SynaBASE™, Synamatix’s novel structured network database system and its integrated suite of ultra-fast analysis tools to run its bioinformatics applications platform.

“Working with HP has been empowering for MGRC due to the strong synergy and common objectives of both companies. MGRC in conjunction with sister company, Synamatix are working closely with HP in the USA, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia, and Singapore to promote its life sciences services worldwide,” says Robert Hercus, Founder and Managing Director, MGRC.

Since the official launch of its services on July 1 at the renowned Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) 2005, MGRC has managed to secure up to 70 active users worldwide, with its most recent customer being the Beatson Institute of Cancer Research (UK). Commencing 2006, the Malaysian-based online bioinformatics applications provider intends to implement a more aggressive and holistic market penetration strategy focusing on strengthening its position in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. HP’s extensive network in life sciences and continued support of MGRC strategies will facilitate this growth.

In evaluating vendor proposals, MGRC considered price-performance as a key basis for benchmarking hardware. At MGRC, genomics data is stored in memory, allowing for faster queries and retrieval. MGRC had to be convinced the scalability of HP Itanium-based servers would not present a limiting factor. Through extensive internal tests it became apparent that HP Integrity rx4640 servers with Itanium 2 processors offered significant advantages beyond price.

“Our project simulations on scalability revealed that when compared with the HP Integrity family, competing solutions required more server hardware to support the same amount of memory – in certain cases, requiring 70 percent more server hardware than HP’s solution over the coming three years,” said Hercus.

“HP’s in-depth experience in the life sciences industry coupled with our capability to provide industry-standard hardware at an optimum price-performance level makes our solution a compelling choice for customers,” says Raymond Yap, Country Business Manager, Business Critical Systems, HP Malaysia.

“The flexibility, memory scalability and transaction speed of the Itanium® 2-based HP Integrity rx4640 cluster server is well poised to meet the computing demands of MGRC’s online bioinformatics service delivery platform,” adds Yap.

Innovative delivery model

As Malaysia’s first and only online bioinformatics applications provider, MGRC provides ultra-fast analysis of biological data using its sister-company Synamatix’s novel bioinformatics technologies, which include SynaBASE™, a unique structured network database platform, and SynaSUITE™, its high-throughput analysis tools. The integrated suite of user-friendly genomics analysis tools are delivered via an application service provider (ASP) model for easy access.

MGRC tools have been validated and proven to perform faster and more efficiently than comparable bioinformatics tools and have demonstrated the ability to find novel hits as a result of how genomics data is stored based on sequence pattern constructs and their interrelationships in its discovery engine.

MGRC is specifically designed for scientists or biologists, enabling them to experience the performance benefits of its tools without need for significant IT/technical skills. Scientists will be able to conduct an array of research tasks ranging from basic sequence alignments through to more exhaustive comparative genomics, microarray probe design and mining of gene domains for functional motifs.

Effective implementation

Over a period four weeks, three HP system engineers and a project manager installed the HP Integrity rx4640 cluster server powered by dual Itanium 2 processors and 64GB RAM. The cluster server was then integrated with MGRC’s online applications platform.

The HP professionals also delivered additional hardware, integrated the systems with MGRC’s gigabit network infrastructure, and conducted mandatory acceptance tests. They completed the initial setup within a week of commission.

For MGRC to deliver a high-end online bioinformatics service worldwide, it needed the best solutions and hardware mix to ensure top performance, quality assurance, and perceived benefits to the marketplace.

“HP’s foresight, proactive approach, and belief in the unique performance capabilities of Synamatix technologies and the potential of MGRC services were catalysts in MGRC’s decision to engage HP,” says Hercus. “HP understands what is required for large-scale IT projects, and the team’s professionalism and skills satisfied our technical evaluation requirements.”

“The HP Integrity rx4640 cluster server has indeed proven to be a flexible, cost-effective platform on which to port Synamatix technologies for MGRC’s online services,” says Yap. “MGRC’s final selection of HP as its preferred vendor is a major boost for us because that decision reinforces worldwide customer confidence in HP’s strength and IT leadership in life and materials sciences.”

About MGRC
Incorporated in May 2004, MGRC’s mission is to deliver essential, affordable high-end bioinformatics tools, as well as personalised, efficient services to life scientists worldwide via an ASP model. More information and a Free Trial Registration are available at www.mgrc.com.my.

About Synamatix
Synamatix is a 2nd generation bioinformatics company specialising in the creation of databases and research applications for the storage, analysis and mining of genetic sequence data. Since its inception in 2001, Synamatix’s core focus has been to resolve one of the major problems facing the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries today i.e. the exponential growth in genomic data continually outpacing advancements in computer processing power and memory. Having created the world’s first integrated structural database system for genetic sequence data, Synamatix is now positioned to address the most challenging applications in bioinformatics database research and development. It is envisaged that Synamatix’s modular suite of applications (SynaSUITE™) will be able to meet demands placed by scientists at critical steps in modern, high throughput, functional genomics and proteomics. For more information please email us at enquires@synamatix.com or visit our website at www.synamatix.com.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2005, HP revenue totaled $85.2 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.

Back to Press Release