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Video: Using Google Compute Engine Pre-Emptible VMs for Cancer Research

Marco Novaes, Google

Marco Novaes, Google

In this video from the Cycle Computing HPC in the Cloud Educational Series, Marco Novaes, Solutions Engineer with the Google Cloud Platform team explains how the Broad Institute was able to use Google Pre-Emptible VMs to leverage over 50,000 cores to advance cancer research.

“Cycle’s mission is to enable our customers to easily access the Big Compute resources required to solve problems and meet deadlines. Over the years our software has orchestrated workloads both internally and externally while accelerating the move to cloud. This is why we were ready when the Broad Institute came to us with a problem: Their cancer researchers saw value in a highly-complex genome analysis, but even though they already had powerful processing systems in-house, running the analysis would take months or more. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to utilize Google Compute Engine’s Preemptible VMs to further their cancer research, which was a natural part of our mission. And now that Preemptible VMs are generally available, we’re excited to tell you about this work.”

Preemptible VMs are the same as regular instances on the Google Compute Engine, except for one key difference – they may be shut down at any time. While that may sound disruptive, it actually makes them a great choice for distributed, fault-tolerant workloads that do not require continuous availability of any single instance. By not guaranteeing indefinite uptime, Google is able to offer them at a substantial discount to normal instances.

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