The technical computing environment today is large, complex and expensive to set up and maintain. In addition, the utilization rates for in-house systems is generally poor due to project cycles and the ever increasing issues of new innovative technology obsoleting existing infrastructures and applications. The current security environment (physical, electronic and access) has improved dramatically with various encryption and whole volume encryption capabilities that enable small and large companies to now embrace a cloud-based information management platform for their big-data requirements. Another key security component of the AWS platform is CloudTrail a complete tracking of all API calls on your system. Who did what, when and from what IP address with notifications sent to your administrator.
The cloud platform is a shared responsibility between AWS storage and computing functions and the customer infrastructure and applications. This in combination with an open-source technology ecosystem provides a comprehensive data capture, storage and informatics/analytics need for any market application. One example large data set application is the recent trends in personalized medicine and the explosion in genomics research and clinical genomics requirements. A recent application of this technology was established by Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center and DNANexus. The platform serves over 300 researchers around the world and processed data from 14,000 individuals. Over 1 PB of data was managed. The key benefit of this cloud-based system (vs. on-premises) was the project was completed 5.7 times faster than if on-premises. The more subtle benefits of cloud-based platforms (PaaS) for this application are:
1) Easier collaboration among remote global groups
2) Faster time to science vs. in-house procurement and installation/integration of infrastructure
3) Cost effective on-premises was prohibitively expensive
4) Expandable additional capacity is available anytime (vs. on-premises purchases)
A large open source and commercial partner ecosystem is critical to integrate basic IT technology functions (ie. Storage and security at AWS) with specific customized and/or configured applications like Core Informatics
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