Informatics Support Group | High Performance Computing

Informatics Support Group | High Performance Computing

Informatics Support Group

Informatics Systems GroupSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

Our Research and Approach

Our Informatics support team provides support, architecture design and development of Sanger's traditional high performance compute (HPC) clusters and OpenStack private cloud (flexible compute infra-structure). Our traditional HPC environment currently provides:

Such traditional platforms have been the bedrock of computational processing within the bio-informatics field for the past 20 years. They are well known and have performed well to date. As Sanger moves towards the next 5 years, it does so with a clear vision towards bio-informatics research and developing healthcare applications ( Supporting cutting edge research of this nature requires that we provide platforms that provide an increasingly cost effective, flexible and scalable platform with opportunities for resilience and self service.

In June 2016, our team developed and delivered a commercial Hybrid OpenStack and VMWare based SciaaS platform ( The project was delivered on time and under budget and the service provides seemless, self service access to effective, resilient, flexible and cost effective compute based services to new spinout companies from Sanger.

In Feb 2017, our team delivered an internal private OpenStack cloud to our scientific researcher community. This flexible compute platform will is based around RedHat OpenStack and CloudForms and now provides:

  • ~ 12,000 cores (SuperMicro)
  • > 100TB memory (SuperMicro)
  • 5.5PB usable NVMe index accelerated Ceph storage (SuperMicro)
  • 1 or 2TB SSD per compute node for high speed ephemeral storage
  • 100GB/s point to point software defined networking (Arista)

We also supply a range of supporting applications and images to our research community as they migrate their workloads to a more distributed compute platform.


Dr Peter Clapham
Group Leader

Peter leads the Informatics Support Group (ISG) which provides the high performance compute (HPC) environments for Sangers scientific research teams. Our team investigates new and upcoming technical solutions that will drive our HPC platforms for tomorrow. In this way we can continue to keep abreast of the research challenges presented.

Partners and Funders

Internal Partners


  • Implementing a genomic data management system using iRODS in the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

    Chiang GT, Clapham P, Qi G, Sale K and Coates G

    BMC bioinformatics 2011;12;361