This paper presents a study of the performance of federated queries implemented in a system that simulates the architecture proposed for the Scalable Architecture for Federated Translational Inquiries Network (SAFTINet). Performance tests were conducted using both physical hardware and virtual machines within the test laboratory of the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah. Tests were performed on SAFTINet networks ranging from 4 to 32 nodes with databases containing synthetic data for several million patients. The results show that the caGrid FQE (Federated Query Engine) is capable and suitable for comparative effectiveness research (CER) federated queries given its nearly linear scalability as partner nodes increase in number. The results presented here are also important for the specification of the hardware required to run a CER grid.
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