Under the hood at Berkeley

The Bowman lab at the University of California, Berkeley recently purchased its first Folding@home server and I thought I would share a little bit about what’s under the hood.  The main purpose of this machine is to serve and store Folding@home work units, so it is equipped with a dozen 4TB drives.  Two drives are dedicated to redundant storage (RAID-6 for experts who are curious to know), leaving us with 40 TB of storage space for collecting data.  Many of the projects I run take 10-100GB of disk space, so conservatively we’re now prepared to run 400 projects!  The machine also has four Gigabit Ethernet connections for sending/receiving data.  Another highlight is a dozen 2.0 GHz cores and 64GB of memory, allowing us to run some of our analysis locally.  The bulk of our analysis will still be conducted on clusters at Berkeley though, where we can parallelize many of the steps across hundreds of processors.