An Interface for Biomedical Big Data Processing on the Tianhe-2 Supercomputer

Molecules. 2017 Dec 1;22(12):2116. doi: 10.3390/molecules22122116.


Big data, cloud computing, and high-performance computing (HPC) are at the verge of convergence. Cloud computing is already playing an active part in big data processing with the help of big data frameworks like Hadoop and Spark. The recent upsurge of high-performance computing in China provides extra possibilities and capacity to address the challenges associated with big data. In this paper, we propose Orion-a big data interface on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer-to enable big data applications to run on Tianhe-2 via a single command or a shell script. Orion supports multiple users, and each user can launch multiple tasks. It minimizes the effort needed to initiate big data applications on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer via automated configuration. Orion follows the "allocate-when-needed" paradigm, and it avoids the idle occupation of computational resources. We tested the utility and performance of Orion using a big genomic dataset and achieved a satisfactory performance on Tianhe-2 with very few modifications to existing applications that were implemented in Hadoop/Spark. In summary, Orion provides a practical and economical interface for big data processing on Tianhe-2.

Keywords: Hadoop; Spark; Tianhe-2; big data; genomics big data.

MeSH terms

  • Cloud Computing
  • Computers
  • Computing Methodologies*
  • Humans
  • Software*