We had been running on a 4 cpu SGI system for quite a while with
excellent reliability and success (~150 total users, ~5 heavy users),
but the size of databases these days makes it difficult to build
database updates and run normal searches at the same time on a 4 cpu
box. Now that 2 GHz cpus are shipping in quantity, a 4 cpu high-end
linux system might be able to handle the load.
However, GCG on linux is still a little "new", so we ended up
migrating gcg to a 16 cpu SGI system, and we are very pleased with the
If a bigger box isn't possible, you may need to block users from
performing BLAST searches, etc., while you build some of your
databases. It's not a problem for swissprot, etc., but a full release
of GenBank can completely tie up a 4 cpu system (e.g. gcg import,
BLAST build, seqcat build, lookup build). An alternative is to
subscribe to Accelrys's update service, but that might be a bit too
costly for many.
As an aside, we also bought some licenses to Accelrys's OMIGA package.
OMIGA (now called DS Gene) is a very nice pc frontend to some of the
core GCG functions, and we have seen our gcg usage skyrocket as a