It was BeanTech that won the challenge and thus became Area Science Park’s technological partner for the Orfeo data center, the first in Italy to extract data and knowledge on Coronavirus for scientific research and which today has more than 500 cores and 2,000 terabytes of usable disk space, divided into different types of technologies. The Friulian company – specialized in digital transformation to support businesses – has in fact developed, together with the team of Area – the national research and innovation body supervised by Mur – the technological infrastructure of the Orfeo data center based in Trieste. Orfeo completes the Genomics and Epigenomics platform consisting not only of the data center, but also of a series of innovative facilities dedicated to the analysis of sequences on DNA and Rna and genotyping-microarrays.
“The data center, designed before the pandemic, was promptly used in the fight against the Coronavirus” reports Stefano Cozzini, Director of the Research and Technologies Institute of the Area Science Park. Orfeo “was in fact rapidly expanded with specific Gpu calculation cards and in its storage part so – explains Cozzini – that it can be used to store and subsequently analyze the data coming from the analysis of Sars-Cov-2 samples and its variants collected. in Friuli Venezia Giulia “.
Among the other projects carried out, there is also the first semantic browser to extract knowledge on Sars-CoV-2 born in February 2020 by three students of the degree course in Data Science and Scientific Computing of the University of Trieste, in collaboration with Area Science Park and Ailc, the Italian Association of Computational Linguistics. The innovative search engine, based on the most advanced artificial intelligence models, allows you to perform rapid and precise semantic searches in the myriad of existing publications on the subject: in 2020 there were over 4 thousand studies published on the Sars-CoV-2 virus and on Covid -19 around the world, to which are added more than 40 thousand articles related to various coronaviruses and diseases caused by them.
Bean Tech, an innovative SME of Industry 4.0 with offices in Udine and Mestre, explains that “the analysis of genomic data it needs platforms with great computing power and high memory capacity. Inside a standard-sized container, Area Science Park installed an Hpc made by BeanTech “, an absolute novelty for the Friulian company that supplied the Datacenter part, the set consisting of the server cabinets, the system cooling systems and uninterruptible power supplies and hardware components, certified by Dell Technologies, also guaranteeing continuous assistance, both remotely and on site, and also taking care of logistics and interconnected issues. “It was challenging, exciting and certainly not without difficulty tackling such an important project, in a historical moment, that of the pandemic, which has undoubtedly elevated the complexities that in the end every Hpc project brings with it ” comments Luca Degano, BeanTech Sales & Marketing Director.
“Supercomputing systems – he remembers – are the technological frontier for computational computing, and each system is unique, and almost always exists as a first and often exclusive installation “. The ability of BeanTech was to create in an organic and functional way a calculation system integrated into the Data center part, using the best and the latest hardware and infrastructure technologies from players such as Dell Technologies, Nvidia and Vertiv, integrating everything through Open Source software solutions to guarantee the performance, flexibility – but also the verticality – and the required scalability “, Degano emphasizes.
Since the entry into service of the Orfeo data center, the rates of use have been higher than the standard ones so as to reach 90% of the total capacity of the period with over 2 million calculations from July to December 2020. Originally conceived to meet the needs of Genomics and Epigenomics, thanks to its flexibility and the high performance of the calculation system, Orfeo is also used in the field of formation. Orfeo is part of the Argo strategic initiative, an industrial system born from a memorandum of understanding of March 2018, between the Mu, the Mise and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. Argo has about 50 partners – between public and private companies – who develop complex projects in synergy.