Bio-IT Recap: How Access to Cloud HPC Drives Better Science, Faster

No where on Earth was the promise of cloud and technical computing more apparent than Bio-IT World 2014 in Boston last week. At Supercomputing 2013 in November, we coined a phrase, the “Era of Access and Collaboration,” meaning that now with cloud, as opposed to any time before, everyone can access the compute power they need, on any infrastructure, at any scale, to work with others.

Bio-IT exemplified this. It had 10+ cloud talks, with John Quackenbush’s keynote outlining that data and compute need to be access-ible (and secure) on cloud to enable us to push science forward. As genomic and other data sets become more accessible, as researchers start to ask the right questions, we will all, no doubt, look back in awe at what this community accomplishes.

We just need to get there faster.


Era of Access and Collaboration

So it was also a flurry of activity for researchers and technologists… and for Cycle Computing. As one of the newer Cyclers (I joined in November 2013), I’ve been running at near light-speed to keep up with all that’s happening – and I’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out the Cycle story. So, for me, this is the event where things really began to come together in my mind about what this company is about – and more importantly, what it’s enabling customers to accomplish.

Let’s hit on some highlights:

Best of Show for SubmitOnce

Best of Show for SubmitOnce



Being recognized by a panel of peers serving as judges at Bio-IT World with a Best of Show award is quite the honor – especially after seeing the competition. Proud! It might surprise some that the award was given to SubmitOnce. Even if you follow Cycle Computing software products (CycleServer, CycleCloud, and DataMan) closely, you might not recognize the name – or appreciate what SubmitOnce does.

SubmitOnce is at the heart of Cycle Computing’s products – and helps route workloads and data to all available computing resources; from internal & external clusters, to private & public clouds. It’s not a lime light hog – but to my knowledge – SubmitOnce is unmatched in it’s capability. Well-deserving of a Best of Show award!


Cloud Orchestration

Cloud Orchestration



Before Bio-IT World started, we teamed up with Good Start Genetics, Johnson&Johnson, and presented at a Pre-conference workshop on implementing cloud to replace on-premise HPC.

Rajeshwar Malathker of Johnson & Johnson

Rajeshwar Malathker of Johnson & Johnson

As part of the workshop, Rajeshwar Malathker of Johnson & Johnson talked about their decision-making process, and experience moving to the cloud, using Cycle Computing. The workload itself runs on 10 servers at most, but it illustrates how researchers at the top of their field are doing great science even at modest scales with CycleCloud.

For me, the talk highlighted not only that some of the top companies in the world are working with Cycle Computing to help mitigate complex issues like compliance, security, and simplicity, on the cloud – but also, how common workloads are being enabled every day that help get treatments to market faster. 


One of the last realizations I had at Bio-IT World was the computing power we can – and are – delivering to all sizes of organizations. Cycle Computing is well-known for many of the Fortune 500 businesses that use us every day to conduct better science, better research, better design, and better business – but I’m learning much of our business helps individual researchers, academic labs, and start-ups, as well as BigPharma and government institutions.

Dr. Mark Thompson, USC

Dr. Mark Thompson, USC

The perfect example of how Cycle Computing is making great computing power more accessible is actually with our well-publicized MegaRun. To me it’s absolutely thrilling to understand the world’s fastest cloud computing run of 156,000+ cores, was conducted for a lone researcher: Dr. Mark Thompson at the University of Southern California, in his quest for more efficient materials using computational quantum chemistry.

As we left BioIT14, the Cycle team felt privileged to work with such an energized group of smart scientists and technologists trying to understand biology, physics, chemistry and genomics to cure disease, every day. We just need to get there faster.

– Brad

PS – If you think you know Genomics history, prove it here and win 23&me and other cool stuff.

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