Life Sciences

How cloud HPC is reducing time to insights in pre-clinical research

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HOW CLOUD HPC IS REDUCING TIME TO INSIGHTS IN PRECLINICAL RESEARCH share: P u b l i s h e d by by F i e r c e C u s to m P u b l i s h i n g How Cloud HPC is reducing time to insights in preclinical research P reclinical research is an unpredictable, fast- moving field. New insights quickly open up or shut down avenues of research, forcing teams to rethink their experiments. Computing sys- tems have historically been less adaptable, but that is changing with high performance computing (HPC) in the cloud. Using on-demand, pay-as-you-go cloud HPC, preclinical teams are achieving research goals faster than ever. HPC refers to the aggregation of computing pow- er. By having multiple processors working in parallel, HPC delivers more power than a desktop computer. Access to such power has underpinned advances in genomics, molecular modeling, computational chem- istry and other areas of life science research. HPC enables researchers to manage the 50 terabytes of data Illumina's HiSeq X Ten can generate each week, and equips Big Pharma firms to virtually screen mil- lions of compounds. The downside is HPC clusters are expensive to acquire, configure and maintain. Procuring technol- ogy is a long, costly and complex process. It takes months and many millions of dollars. Configuring pro- cessors to effectively run researchers' computations takes more time and expertise. Once installed, tech- nical problems and computing-capacity bottlenecks lead to downtime and distractions, slowing research. These characteristics undermine on-premise HPC in preclinical research. "On-premise HPC isn't as agile as our researchers want to be. Because research collaborations can start up spontaneously, the result can be demand for IT that wasn't forecast," said Lance Smith, associate director of IT at Celgene. The IT sector responded to these challenges with cloud HPC. This paper discusses the benefits of deploying preclinical workloads in the cloud. Cutting time to science Cloud HPC shifts the burden of acquiring, config- uring and maintaining computing equipment from preclinical researchers to service providers. Cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) employ compilers, schedulers, distributed network file systems and other tools familiar to users of on- premise HPC clusters. S P O N S O R E D BY

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