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By Salvatore Salamone
August 15, 2003 | Influential IDC life science analyst Debra Goldfarb has joined IBM’s Deep Computing organization, where she will serve as vice president of strategy and products for the group.

Her duties at IBM will cover a wide range of application areas. “Deep Computing includes all high-performance computing (HPC) areas,” Goldfarb says. “This includes life sciences, scientific engineering, digital media, and financial analytics.” The Deep Computing group is trying to address the needs of organizations that require high-performance analytics or have high computational workloads.

Goldfarb will be working to bring supercomputer resources to large enterprises and research organizations. “We’ll look at the infrastructure that supports [HPC],” she says. The Deep Computing group can draw on virtually any of the IBM higher-performance computer platforms, and it can bring IBM’s expertise in other areas like storage or application support.

Goldfarb notes several efforts within the Deep Computing group that will be of interest to life scientists. In June, IBM opened its first Deep Computing On Demand center in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. The center, which uses IBM eServer xSeries Linux systems, offers supercomputing power on demand. The service lets “customers buy cycles and resources,” says Goldfarb, helping companies deal with peaks in computational demand.

Then there is the much publicized Blue Gene project (see Blue Gene Is Cool for 2006, July 2003 Bio-IT World, page 1). IBM is developing a new supercomputer architecture and is also working with life scientists to simulate protein folding.

As IDC’s group vice president of worldwide systems and life science research, Goldfarb led the charge to define the IT market in the bio-IT field. (IDC and Bio-IT World are both owned by IDG.) Her group’s research estimated the size of the bio-IT market and signaled its great growth potential. Goldfarb is also a member of Bio-IT World’s editorial advisory board.

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