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Christina Bonello, Director
The McLean Imaging Center research computing and network infrastructure is complex and heterogeneous as it supports the other five programs within the center. The imaging center maintains three whole body human MR scanners (1.5T, 3.0T and 4.0T) as well as a fourth, 9.4T small bore animal scanner located in the TRIAL. Two of the three whole body scanners (the 1.5T and the 3T) are also used for clinical scanning of McLean Hospital inpatients and outpatients. Each of the three human whole body scanners is from a different vendor (Varian, Siemens and General Electric) and each has a different operating system, hardware and software interface that connects to the local computing resources.

Computing systems hardware includes 21 UNIX Servers, 18 Linux workstations, 12 PC workstations, 12 Sun workstations, 3 Silicon graphics workstations, 8 OS X Server workstations, ~200 individual computers and laptops running a variety of operating systems including Linux, Apple OS/X and Microsoft Windows and Windows server applications. Dedicated core systems include 7 RAID array servers with a total network storage of 35.8 Terabytes, 2 robotic LTO tape backup systems, mail services, and intranet services (local web resources for technical information and software tools).

McLean Imaging Center supported research computing software applications include many applications that are unique to imaging research including: spectroscopy and functional MRI data analysis software, signal processing tools, mathematical modeling, statistical analysis packages, programming language compilers and in-house developed applications written with licensed scientific programming packages including Mathematica, IDL and MATLAB. These applications are supported on a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems.

A computational cluster system, composed of eight Apple 3.0 GHz, 8 core 64 bit Xeon Servers is on site. This is a modular computer station to which additional “nodes” can be added in order to improve computational performance on a shared basis. This system is available to all Center clinicians and scientists.

Common to all systems and network resources is the need for security and administrative services including user account authorization/deauthorization and configuration, maintaining security of confidential clinical and research subject information, research data security, antivirus and spyware protection and coordination with Partners IS firewall security for clinical applications which connect to outside clinicians such as the teleradiology and dictation services. Backup of research and clinical information systems (including the MRI scanners) is a large and mission critical responsibility.