Opscode's Opscode Chef was named “Best of Show” at Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in the event's Information Technology Infrastructure category.

Opscode Chef is an open source systems integration framework built for automating the cloud. It allows software developers, engineers, and architects to easily deploy thousands of servers and scale applications throughout an entire infrastructure.

Through a combination of configuration management and service-oriented architectures, Chef, Hosted Chef and Private Chef make it easy to create an elegant, fully automated infrastructure while simplifying systems management.

“Life sciences and drug discovery is rapidly moving to the cloud as the most efficient means to accessing large-scale compute resources with minimal investment,” said Christopher Brown, CTO of Seattle-based Opscode. “While this shift is allowing organizations of all sizes access to tremendous IT horsepower, it is also creating significant management challenges for often-understaffed IT teams. Chef is a force multiplier that solves this problem by enabling these organizations to automate infrastructure management, so they can get back to science.”

Cycle Computing successfully utilized Opscode Chef to create a 50,000 core virtual supercomputer to assist in the development of novel drug compounds for cancer research. Using this mega-cluster, the largest utility supercomputer on record, the computational chemistry organization Schrodinger was able to analyze 21 million drug compounds in just 3 hours, for less than $4,900 per hour at peak.

According to estimates based on current hardware and services pricing, deploying the physical infrastructure necessary for a project of this size, including physical servers, storage, and switching, plus operation and maintenance costs, would require a total investment in the tens of millions of dollars.