The idea behind CLIMB and CLIMB-BIG-DATA was to bring bioinformatics capability (computing power, storage and analysis tools) to microbiologists working in UK academia. With improvements in next-generation sequencing technologies generating genomic data sets has become easier. Many academics don’t have the access to the resources that they need to perform the required bioinformatics analysis. CLIMB-BIG-DATA will provide this resource. It will also be a place for researchers to share scripts and pipelines.
The vision also included holding workshops and meetings to train, share knowledge and develop the microbial bioinformatics community.
To deliver this vision alongside the investigators, three world-class research fellows have been appointed to the project. Two purpose-built training centres have also been built.
The four universities each have the same equipment installed, which will work as in integrated system allowing for redundancy. The end user when dialling up one of the 1000 available virtual machines will not necessarily know which site they are using. The system offers huge data storage capabilities, very high-memory research servers for maximum performance and integration with relevant biological databases.
The CLIMB project officially began on 01 April 2014. The first year focussed on the procurement and installation of the computer equipment, and also the refurbishment at Warwick and Swansea to create two new bioinformatics training centres for CLIMB. The next stage of the project focussed on implementing the software (Openstack) for creating a cloud, enabling the virtual machines to communicate with the platform’s storage and integrating the four sites. Testing of the system by selected users was the next key part of the project.
CLIMB officially launched to UK academia in July 2016, with a two-day launch event at Warwick University.
In April 2020 we launched CLIMB successor: CLIMB-BIG-DATA, an ambitious 5-year initiative to deliver a cutting-edge scalable and dynamic bioinformatics platform to support academic research groups, government agencies and health service facing the challenge of big data in modern microbiology.
CLIMB-BIG-DATA benefits from a £2Million grant from the UKRI (MRC grant ref. MR/T030062/1), and will gradually become self-sustaining.
2020 Oct First CLIMB-BIG-DATA online workshop
2020 Jul Infrastructure has been improved in Cardiff
2020 Apr CLIMB-BIG-DATA begins!
2020 Mar CLIMB provides computing resources to COG-UK consortium
2019 Dec Over 160 papers have acknowledged CLIMB so far
2019 May Over 3,500 VMs launched so far
2018 Nov CLIMB is actively used by more than 850 users
2018 May Over 250 groups in the UK are actively using CLIMB
2017 Nov CLIMB wins twice at 2017 HPCwire Readers’ Choice Awards
2017 Feb Over 1,000 VMs launched so far
2016 Dec Over 100 groups in the UK are signed up to use CLIMB
2016 Sep CLIMB paper
2016 Jul Official CLIMB launch
2015 Jun Warwick node available to pre-selected users
2015 Jan Initial configuration
2014 Nov Vendor selection made for the remaining three sites
2014 Aug OpenStack installed on Birmingham test node
2014 Jul Initial delivery of hardware at Birmingham
2014 Jun IBM and OCF chosen as vendors for Birmingham pilot
2014 Apr CLIMB begins!