Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday won a Best of Show award at
Bio-IT World Conference + Expo, taking place this week in Boston, Mass. Apple won the award for its recently announced
Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics.
“It’s such a nice validation of our efforts,” Liz Kerr, Director of Sci-Tech Markets at Apple, told MacCentral. “People at the show are really interested in what we have to offer.”
The Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics is a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster based on the Xserve G5, aimed at providing a turnkey solution for scientists who have little or no IT support.
With Mac OS X Server, scientists can feel comfortable using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) or the command line if that’s what they are used to using. Kerr feels that flexibility in conjunction with Apple’s ease of use and pricing is making people take a second look.
“Money often stops people from getting a cluster — if you give them something they can manage themselves at the price we do, you take that away for them,” said Kerr. “It’s also Apple’s ease of use. Scientists that don’t have an IT background just want to know what’s included and we give that to them.”
Starting at US$28,000, each cluster ships with two to 16 Xserve G5 servers, 750GB of storage in the head node, an Asanté gigabit Ethernet switch and APC Smart-UPS power supply, all in an XtremeMac Xrack Pro enclosure. Third-party bioinformatics software comes pre-installed — the BioTeam’s INquiry package, with 200 applications. Apple also provides a spare parts kit to help the cluster stay running, along with premium support for three years.
Bio-IT World Inc., IDG World Expo and MacCentral.com are all owned by IDG.
This story was updated with information after an interview with Apple.