The NIH Biowulf Cluster provides researchers with a world-class system to assist in solving complex biomedical problems as diverse as gene variation in worldwide human populations, deep learning to model protein structures, and PET brain scan processing to identify plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The Biowulf cluster requires an HPC account and a justification describing the computational requirements of the proposed research project.
The Biowulf cluster comprises over 105,000 cores communicating over dedicated high-speed networks and utilizing shared file servers. The cluster includes specialized nodes such as GPUs, very large memory nodes, and data transfer nodes. Biowulf cluster users have access to a full suite of scientific applications and databases, including tools for sequence analysis, linkage analysis, phylogenetic analysis, microarray analysis, gene regulation and pathways, computational chemistry, molecular modeling, structural biology, mathematical analysis, proteomics, image analysis, molecular graphics, program development, and scientific databases.
Licensed applications include Mathematica, MATLAB (including many toolboxes), SAS and Gaussian.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I obtain a Biowulf account?
A: Biowulf accounts require an online application form and approval from an NIH Principal Investigator. Details at https://hpc.nih.gov/docs/accounts.html.
Q: How much does a Biowulf account cost?
A: There is a flat monthly charge for an NIH HPC account. This gives the user access to all of the NIH HPC systems and associated services (i.e. Biowulf, Helix, Sciware etc.). There are no additional charges for CPU or storage usage on Helix, Biowulf, Sciware or any of the HPC Systems. The current charges are detailed at https://hpc.nih.gov/docs/accounts.html#charges
Q: How many CPUs are available to a single user?
A: It depends on how busy Biowulf is, but in general a single user is allowed about 10,000 simultaneous cores (when available). See the current limits at https://hpc.nih.gov/systems/status/ (NIH-only access)
Q: How can I learn how to use Biowulf?
Online self-paced courses include ‘Introduction to Biowulf’ as well as basic courses such as ‘Bash Shell Scripting’ and specialized scientific classes. The HPC staff teach in-person and Zoom classes several times a year, and hold monthly Walk-In Consults where users can get help. All classes, and lecture notes from previous classes, are listed at https://hpc.nih.gov/training/
This service is available to all NIH intramural personnel.