PolITiGenomics

Politics, Information Technology, and Genomics

Brain Cloud

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July 1st, 2010

Monya Baker recently published a Technology Feature in Nature Methods that discusses the use of cloud computing in genomics. I, along with several other people in the genome informatics community, were interviewed for the article. Until I saw the picture of Vivien Bonazzi in the article, I did not know she played guitar. I guess next time I am in DC I’ll have to challenge her to a guitar duel.

(Note: the video above is just an amusing example of a guitar duel, it is not intended in any way as a comment on Vivien’s or my personality. Vivien is great and me… well, you may have a point there. It is also worth noting that Bobby is not actually playing the “Holy Trinity of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, E-A-B. The chords being played are E-G-A E-G-B♭-A E-G-A-G-E. The older among us will recognize that as the same progression as the main riff from Deep Purple’s classic rock anthem Smoke On The Water.)

Over at Informatics Iron, Matthew Dublin states in his summary of the article that I want to bring everyone “back to square one” because I say that the solution to the computing challenges in genomics will likely involve a mixture of internal and external resources. The current reality is that most people are currently using local resources and, as those resources become more and more underpowered compared to their needs, they will extend their workflows to leverage external resources as well. In other words, researchers are not likely to scrap their current computing infrastructures and migrate entirely to the cloud when their computing needs grow beyond their existing resources. Hopefully by the time most people need to spill over into external resources middleware systems will exist that intelligently schedule jobs to appropriate computational resources, internal or external, with a minimal amount of job metadata from bioinformatician submitting the job.

Here’s a video hint for those who do not understand the reference in the title of this post.

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One Response to “Brain Cloud”

  1. “Brain cloud? I knew it. I mean, I didn’t know it, but I knew it!”

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