The Pirbright Institute

Research center safeguards livestock and humans from the threat of viral diseases with Atos supercomputer with Intel® processors

At a glance

Pirbright deployed an Atos supercomputer powered by Intel® Xeon® processors. With a unified environment running its diverse applications, Pirbright enhances scientific productivity and helps policymakers respond effectively when a viral outbreak threatens.


Scientists get rapid results, gaining insights that can help reduce the impact of viral disease.

In an emergency situation, we need to sequence and analyse larger data volumes within the disease containment envelope. The Atos platform and Intel® processors give us the speed to carry out that analysis quickly and without all the problems of bandwidth and moving huge volumes of data around. This allows us to respond faster to the disease.

– Dr Bryan Charleston

Director and CEO The Pirbright Institute

Preserving life, the economy and the food supply

When a deadly virus emerges, scientists must respond rapidly to characterize the virus, track its spread, and stop it from devastating livestock and possibly infecting humans. As a global leader in this work, the Pirbright Institute in the UK needs flexible high-performance computing (HPC) resources that can handle a wide variety of workloads.

Rising demand for computational resources threatened to outstrip the capacity provided by Pirbright’s legacy mix of servers, clusters, and workstations. Pirbright sought a versatile system that could accelerate progress in areas such as genome assembly of complex viruses and hosts, epidemiology studies to monitor virus migration, and the development of innovative analytics tools.

Powerful, flexible system for diverse workloads

Taking advantage of Intel® technologies and Atos expertise, Pirbright implemented an Atos HPC system with heterogeneous nodes based on the Intel® Xeon® processor families.

Atos Life Sciences Center of Excellence (LSCoE) experts worked hand in hand with Pirbright to provide a bespoke compute platform to enable researchers increase the efficiency of their processes and ultimately ensure the control of viral diseases.

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Faster time-to-results

Scientists get rapid results, gaining insights that can help reduce the impact of viral disease, ensure food security, and improve the quality of life for animals and humans. Whole virus genomes are sequenced within 24-hours, enabling pinpoint tracking of a virus’ path and aiding the development of diagnostic tools, vaccines, and treatments.

By running its diverse workloads on a unified environment, Pirbright lowers management overhead and avoids the time and expense of moving vast amounts of data among multiple systems.

Our Experts

Natalia Jiménez Lozano

Head of Atos Life Science Center of Excellence

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