Today advances in scientific research as well as clinical diagnostics and treatment are inevitably connected with information solutions concerning computation power and information storage. The needs for information technology are enormous and are in many cases the limiting factor for new scientific results or clinical diagnostics and treatment. At the Hogeschool Rotterdam and the Erasmus MC there is a massive need for computation power on a scale of 10,000 to 15,000 computers equivalent to ~20 to ~30 Tflops (1012 floating point operations per second) for a variety of work areas ranging from e.g. MRI and CT scan and microscopic image anlysis to DNA sequence analysis, protein and other structural simulations and analysis. Both institutions have already 13,000 computers, i.e. ~18 Tflops of computer power, available! To make the needed computer power accessible, we started to build the Erasmus Computing Grid (ECG), which is connecting local computers in each institution via central management systems. The system guaranties security and any privacy rules through the used software as well as through our set-up and a NAN and ISO certification process being under way. Similar systems run already world-wide on entire institutions including secured environments like government institutions or banks. Currently, the ECG has a computational power of ~5 Tflops and is one of or already the largest desktop grid in the world. At the Hogeschool Rotterdam meanwhile all computers were included in the ECG. Currently, 10 departments with ~15 projects at the Erasmus MC depend on using the ECG and are preparing or prepared their analysis programs or are already in production state. The Erasmus Computing Grid office and an advisory and control board were set-up. To sustain the ECG now further infrastructure measures have to be taken. Central hardware and specialist personal needs to be put in place for capacity, security and usability reasons for the application at Erasmus MC. This is also necessary in respect to NAN and ISO certification towards diagnostic and commercial ECG use, for which there is great need and potential. Beyond the link to the Dutch BigGrid Initiative and the German MediGRID should be prepared for and realized due to the great interest for cooperation. There is also big political interest from the government to relieve the pressure on computational needs in The Netherlands and to strengthen the Dutch position in the field of high performance computing. In both fields the ECG should be brought into a leading position by establishing the Erasmus MC a centre of excellence for high-performance computing in the medical field in respect to Europe and world-wide. Consequently, we successfully started to build a super-computer at the Hogeschool Rotterdam and Erasmus MC with great opportunities for scientific research, clinical diagnostics and research as well as student training. This will put both institutions in the position to play a major world-wide role in high-performance computing. This will open entire new possibilities for both institutions in terms of recognition and new funding possibilities and is of major importance for The Netherlands and the EU.

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Seminar on High Performance Computing. Free University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1st June, 2011.
Biophysical Genomics, Department Cell Biology & Genetics

Knoch, T., Abuseiris, A., de Graaf, R., Lesnussa, M., & Grosveld, F. (2011, June). The Erasmus Computing Grid
Building a Super-Computer for Free. Presented at the Seminar on High Performance Computing. Free University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1st June, 2011. Retrieved from