The following are the main objectives for the BSP in the 2014/15 financial year:
The application scientist (Dane Kennedy) interacts with the commercial/academic researchers, providing programming, application and experiment analysis support, conducts training to improve the affectivity of HPC users, and assists in the setup, running and development of HPC software and job scripts, while the systems engineer (Inus Scheepers) sets up and ensures the availability of computing, storage and network resources for computational biology work, and explores hardware and software options to support and amplify the research efforts. These job functions overlap to some extent. BSP makes use of a dedicated cluster node and virtual machines to stage and manage cluster jobs, deploy various software systems, and host training-related material.
The BSP web site http://bio.chpc.ac.za has been set up and populated, linking to the various resources available. The reference databases are regularly and automatically mirrored, and a mailing list, CHPC-Bio, was created on the CHPC list server for community announcements and discussions.
The BSP’s training activities will be coordinated by an Education Committee in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, including the South African Bioinformatics Society. They will determine the training needs and develop criteria for hosting or participating in a course and they will also develop appropriate evaluation procedures to ensure a high quality, integrated training programme.