Donate Compute Power on GCP to fight COVID19

Solidarity means supporting the front line defenders with what we have - distributed computing power for research

by Lisa Nöth | March 27, 2020

So here we are, 13 weeks into 2020 and everything is not as it was 4 weeks ago. Our team is isolated in home offices, DevOps Engineers are trying to step in as substitute teachers and apparently mining for toilet paper is the new thing. And while all the front line defenders are stocking shelves, delivering parcels and are preparing the ICU beds for what’s to come, we thought about things we, as an IT company can do to help and show some solidarity. When we realized, that the great people that run folding@home had started a COVID19 project, we knew what we could do to help: Donate compute power on the Google Cloud Platform to fight COVID19.

Folding@home is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics. It brings together citizen scientists who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their personal computers. And that since more than 20 years. Insights from this data is used to develop new therapeutics for all sorts of diseases.

With the start of their project on COVID19, the OS community has gathered around these great people and driven up the numbers from around 30k volunteers in February 2020 to more than 400k in March. Numbers increasing.

And while we started to set up our efforts on GCP, we thought it would be a good idea to share the scripts to create folding@home instances on GCP. So that all those GCP partners and users could join in and start folding.

FAH Team

So here is our reference configuration. Come, come, start folding with us!