Harvard Medical School makes Platform’s Honor Roll – wins InfoWorld 100 & Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders Awards

Before I get caught up in the fray of 2010, I wanted to take a moment and recognize one of our valued customers here at Platform – Harvard Medical School (HMS). Harvard Medical School’s deployments for their internal cloud and HPC backbone—powered by Platform—were recently recognized by InfoWorld magazine for its innovation and use of technology to advance their business. In addition, Dr. Marcos Athanasoulis, director of information technology at HMS, was recognized as one of Computerworld magazine’s Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2009. For those of you that have been in the technology business for a while, you’ll recognize that both the InfoWorld 100 and Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders awards are two of the most prestigious awards given each year within the technology sector.

We’re thrilled that HMS and Dr. Athanasoulis have both been recognized by two such influential awards programs and that Platform could play a part in their recognition. Here’s an excerpt from the winning InfoWorld 100 nomination form to give you a sense of why HMS won these awards:

“Since 2002, Dr. Athanasoulis has understood that high performance computing is the heart of scientific discovery. Challenged with a large and dispersed group of research teams and scientists with irregular but often large computational workloads, Dr. Athanasoulis had a vision to build a cutting-edge private cloud environment. HMS needed an evolved, dynamic grid infrastructure where compute resources are always available for the more than 500 Harvard researchers across the world who run complex data calculations in their quest to find cures for cancer, decipher gene and protein sequences and alleviate suffering caused by disease.

To evolve HMS’ centralized IT services organization to a highly-scalable, cost-effective, self-service solution required a lot of determination and persuasive skill on behalf of Dr. Athanasoulis to influence a cultural shift among research lab directors to overcome the initial skepticism around resource assurance and allocation on a shared infrastructure. However, once the project was implemented, scientists soon noticed that the internal grid, which serves as the backbone for HMS’s internal cloud, offers a great deal of flexibility and reliability. The new infrastructure, utilizing Platform LSF, IBM hardware, Isilon and EMC storage solutions along with various biomedical software solutions such as MatLab and SAS, offers both scalability and workload distribution, created a system of shared computing resources that can process large, complex calculations in a fraction of time that a single computer would take.

With Platform LSF, HMS is able to move scientific computations “closer” to the data to reduce latency and resource consumption, thereby saving HMS’s IT budget and resources. And as future compute demands spike, compute capacity can be sourced from a public cloud, which will be integrated with HMS’s internal cloud to provide unlimited, on-demand resources on a pay-per-use basis. The economies of scale and efficiencies that are achieved with a shared infrastructure increase research lab productivity and collaboration, while significantly reducing infrastructure costs.”

Given the success HMS experienced building its internal cloud, we wanted to share the story and recognize the great leadership of Dr. Marcos Athanasoulis!

Congratulations, and thank you, Harvard Medical School and Dr. Athanasoulis!

To learn more about Harvard Medical’s Platform deployment, case study can be found here.