Discussion with Jörg Stelling

Finally, I also had a chat today with Jörg Stelling, PI of MetaNetX. That project does not need any assistance from SyBIT, maybe only for some Web interfaces, but Jörg will contact us when it comes to that. His regular contact in SyBIT is anyway Bernd Rinn at the CISD, so he is well covered.

We have also discussed the recommendation document SyBIT has completed recently on long-term strategy. He gave some interesting comments both on improving how the suggestions might be perceived as well as the integration of the SIB at the Zurich sites.

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Discussion with ETH-ID and IMSB

Today we also had a discussion about infrastructure needs at the ETHZ Institute of Molecular Systems Biology. From that end Lars Malmström was present, and the ETH Informatikdienste (ID) was present with Tilo Steiger and Willi Engeli, their Storage responsibles and speciallists. We have done a recap on the current situation and discussed the latest offers from ID concerning mutli-tiered storage and user home spaces. The ID will set up partitioned spaces for users’ home directories that are highly available, backed up and under quota management, so users are motivated not to store large research datasets in their home directories. For those we have the tiered storage. Lars explained in high detail what the needs are for PhosphoNetX and we found a very straightforward solution by the ID, so this was a very productive meeting.

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Discussion with Ralph Schlapbach

Today I had a discussion with Ralph Schlapbach at the FGCZ. The FGCZ is currently a little short on people (they are in the process of hiring not just for SyBIT). However, the process to get new people is well underway. We have a candidate for the SyBIT position already, he would be able to start in June.

Concerning technical cooperation, I shared my most recent impressions with Ralph, ie. how I see B-Fabric’s main role in the ‘SyBIT ecosystem’: mainly as an excellent tool to manage the processes around usage and scheduling of instruments and initial metadata ingestion. Of course all immediate processing steps and the resulting data products are also available in B-Fabric. For further analysis and more complex workflows there are other tools in SyBIT which are probably more suitable for some RTD projects, but interfacing is relatively easy since all is needed is transfer of data. The most difficult part, the actual ingestion of data is already done through B-Fabric.

There are ongoing interactions already between the FMI and the FGCZ to use B-Fabric there for the same purpose. Another effort is to get some additional funding through SWITCH to work on virutalization from which also SyBIT would profit. I will get involved in that project some more.

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SyBIT Retreat

We had a very productive retreat in the first week of February in Rigi-Kaltbad. It was productive on all levels – we got to know each other, each other’s work but we also discussed basics like the mission of SyBIT and next steps to be taken. The results of those discussions are already reflected in the public wiki pages of SyBIT.

We will organize more focussed and technical meetings regularly for all SyBIT members to assure that we keep track of each other’s work.

The full program and information is only available on the internal wiki pages.

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