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The Fight to Cure Cancer

By David Rayner | Jul 12, 2010 | Business, Latest News

While sometimes the phrase is used in a joking tone, when the phrase is appropriate, it really is great “when a plan comes together”.

A hallmark of TBL Networks is that we are power users of the solutions we recommend for our clients. Early in 2010, TBL was facing a decision about the compute platform of choice for the TBL enterprise. While there were less expensive options available in Cisco’s Unified Computing platform, deep down we knew that the B-Series chassis from Cisco was going to be a strategic platform for our clients, so we decided to make it the strategic platform for TBL. Running in our “T-Block” TBL has dual B-Series chassis that we use for TBL production and demo systems as well as a sizable sandbox for our clients to test their workloads on the Cisco B-Series. Even with these defined workloads, we found that we always  had unused compute capacity idling in our data center. Enter the World Community Grid. http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/ 

The World Community Grid allows those with idle compute capacity to donate it for use in research projects ranging from cancer research to clean energy. Based on some personal connections at TBL, we have decided to focus our capacity primarily on the fight against cancer, but our capacity is available to all Community Grid projects when the cancer research teams are not sending work to TBL.

So what are the results to date? Leveraging our investments in VMware (remember the “plan coming together?”) TBL has built 40 virtual servers that are crunching numbers and providing results to a variety of cancer research teams. Additionally, TBL has provided processing power to projects fighting muscular dystrophy and AIDS. In a just under 2 weeks, through the convergence of tremendous compute capacity in the B-Series and virtualized server operations, TBL has provided over 200 “compute days” for the Community Grid which yields a multiplier of almost 14 compute days for every calendar day. At this sustained rate, at the end of 2010, TBL will have provided more than 7 years of computing power for the Community Grid and the effort to cure cancer. As we write this release and as you read it, 40 TBL virtual servers are crunching numbers in the fight against cancer. TBL is thrilled to have the opportunity to donate this capacity to researchers who we hope will someday end the scourge of cancer in our lifetime. It really is great when a plan comes together!

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