Reflections on Migrating IBM APP Genomic Workflow Acceleration to IBM POWER8


Author: Chandler Wilkerson, Rice University


To describe the challenges and lessons learned while installing the IBM Power Ready Platform for Genomic Workflow Acceleration on new IBM POWER8 hardware.


Migrating any workflow to a new hardware platform generates challenges and requires adaptability. With the transition from POWER7 to POWER8, the addition of PowerKVM obviates the need for VIOS and provides the opportunity to manage virtual machines on the POWER platform in a much more Linux-friendly manner. In addition, a number of changes to Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux operating system between versions 6 and 7 (7 being required for full POWER8 support at the time of this project’s start) have required modifying the standard processes outlined in the tested IBM solution. This presentation will take attendees through the growing pains and lessons learned while migrating a complex system to a new platform.


Chandler has taken the lead on all IBM POWER related projects within Rice’s Research Computing Support Group since 2008, including a pre-GA deployment of POWER7 servers that turned into a 48-node cluster, Blue BioU. The RCSG team maintains a collection of different HPC resources purchased through various grants, and is experienced in providing as uniform a user experience between platforms as possible.


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