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Cavatica Cloud Platform

Why Choose Cloud-Based Analysis?

High performance computing necessary for genome-scale analysis requires advanced computer infrastructure. By networking a collection of servers and storage devices, researchers can utilize these machines to carry out the large-scale calculations and computations required for genome alignment and variant calling. High performance computing incurs large upfront costs associated with purchasing equipment as well as ongoing costs associated with staff to maintain this environment and electricity to keep everything running.

Cloud-based computing allows access to this same infrastructure without owning and managing the machines themselves. Rather than purchase the computers themselves, users of cloud computing pay to work in this environment on an amount relative to their usage. Dozens of machines can be activated rapidly when an analysis is beginning – and then shut off just as quickly once the work is complete and they are no longer needed. CAVATICA provides the service of activating and deactivating these computers when called upon by its users. This allows researchers to focus on the biological and bioinformatic aspects of their project, such as experimental design and analysis, without having to set up cloud infrastructure from scratch.

Data analysis requires genomic files to be in the same location as the software tools that are processing them. The increasing scale and size of genomic data is becoming a burden to moving these files onto an institutional location where the software has been installed. Cloud-based analysis offers an alternative – move the relatively small software files to the location where the data is stored.

Furthermore, cloud computing also allows users to share data seamlessly with collaborators. Any collaborator can create an account and receive access to the same platforms. Useful data products, tools, and results can also be quickly disseminated and shared with the broader research community following publication.

Overall, cloud platforms represent a sustainable alternative to users downloading datasets and carrying out analysis locally. For more information, the 2018 NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science emphasizes the powerful and cost-effective role cloud computing can play in the future of research by streamlining data use, allowing rapid access, and minimizing infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Getting Started on CAVATICA

For information on using CAVATICA, please visit the CAVATICA Knowledge Center. The following pages are useful places to help get started.

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