The Orchestra cluster is a shared high-performance computing environment serving a large research community with diverse research requirements and workflows. Tens of thousands of jobs run on the cluster every day, and we are constantly improving the job handling software and configuration to balance throughput between our many users.
The thousands of researchers we support generate a tremendous amount of data. Some of our group resources and time go towards evaluating future storage products for cost, performance, and suitability for our researchers.
We currently have over 3 petabytes of network attached storage, between the various file servers. Our latest addition is a Lustre based scratch filesystem, which has the potential to deliver very high read/write performance.
The computational resources needed by our community wax and wane with the academic year and the funding deadlines. We are looking towards the future and evaluating cloud computing as a possible solution to provide surge compute capacity during times of high need.
Members of our group are also pro-active in the Quad community and teach classes from time to time. This has ranged from introductory UNIX to Perl/BioPerl as well a more specific introduction to our cluster, Orchestra. We have slides from previous classes available.
Have a research problem and not sure how to tackle it? Contact us and have one of our research computing consultants chat with you. Consultants have a life science background and can meet with you one-on-one to help you figure out how to use computers effectively in your research or to help you get access to the resources you need.
Or, pick one of the buttons below to request support. You can either: (1) have the Harvard community help answer your questions through OSQA, (2) fill out a web form with detailed information about your issue, (3) send us an e-mail, or (4) just visit us in person.
We are a small team dedicated to promoting and maintaining the use of HPC in the research community. Meet some of our members below.
I help support the HMS user community to better use our HPC, web hosting, and software licensing services.
Doug's focus is on the web-hosting service and base infrastructure of the Orchestra cluster.
I look after the Orchestra HPC cluster, with a focus on optimizing the queuing, operating system, storage, and network components.
I love talking to scientists about their research and helping catalyze their way over the computational barriers. "perl" is one of my favorite verbs.
My focus is to find what is most broken, and to design and implement new solutions that are not broken.
I strategically visualize things. Ask me about the future of Orchestra. Suggestions welcome.
Previously worked as a molecular biologist, bioinformatician and software developer. Now designs scalable and maintainable research computing infrastructure, both physical and virtual.
I develop mathematical and statistical models to further understanding of complex biological systems.
Helping biomedical researchers with their computational needs. Any feedback is welcomed.
We do have some code available through our Github.
The following licensed desktop research applications are distributed by research computing; all downloads require HMS eCommons ID authentication. Please note that the HMS Affinity ID and Harvard PIN will not work for this.
See the HMS Software Wiki for links to other Harvard organizations with software licensing resources.
Computational research is an increasingly important part of any life science research project. Research computing staff help researchers get access to software and hardware resources and provide advice on how to use those resources. Ask us big or small, beginner or expert questions.
We can help you with things like...
Research computing consultants with a life science background can talk with you about your project, help you decide an effective strategy for the computational part of your research, and acting as liaisons to other parts of IT to access the necessary resources. If we can't help with a particular problem, we'll try to find somebody who can.
All services are offered free of charge.
Orchestra is a shared high-performance computing (HPC) environment maintained by our group. It has approximately 500 compute nodes and roughly 3 Petabytes of network attached storage. Although it was originally designed to enable computationally intensive bioinformatics research, it has evolved to support other IT solutions including web hosting. You can read more about the Orchestra hardware here.
By recommendation of the CIO, The Research Information Technology Group (RITG) was founded in July 2003 by the Information Technology department to support research computing on the Quad that falls beyond the scope of local system administrators or the existing HMS IT department's desktop support.
In 2011, by recommendation of the Research Computing Governing Council, RITG was expanded with the addition of a Director and Research Computing Consultants. The new organization was named the Research Computing group (RC).
Besides augmenting research IT support on the Quad, RC works with other departmental administrators to pool resources, efforts, and expertise. We aim to foster collaboration within the community of systems administrators at HMS to share knowledge and establish common best practices.
You are more than welcome to visit us at the following address at any time. However, we may not always be there so it's best to send us an e-mail to confirm first. We do have weekly office hours on Wednesdays from 1-3pm. Stop by to chat about anything, or bring your data and questions.HMS Research Computing