December 13, 2010
The pharmaceutical and life sciences industries have been making considerable moves to the cloud, particularly with genomic sequencing applications and clinical trial management. While there are a number of compliance-related issues that have been addressed (and a host of others that still require more robust solutions), big pharma has been taking noticeable, albeit tentative steps to the cloud.
This week at Pharmtech, Julian Upton asked Arun Kumar, Vice President and Head of the Global Life Sciences Business Unit at Infosys, an IT, business and consulting firm, about how the cloud is shaping the pharmaceutical industry.
The impact of cloud computing for the industry is still in its infancy, but is most prevalent in areas of research, development and healthcare information exchange. He states, “the explosion of data from next generation sequencing, growing importance of biologics in the research process, and importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to come up with new discoveries is making cloud-based computing an increasingly important aspect of R&D.”
Kumar also noted while there are some genetic sequencing and biomarker data and applications in both public and private clouds, “there is still a need for more integrated data sharing across research, development, manufacturing and sales functions to improve trials, increase time to market for drugs, and utlize feedback faster.”
For pharma, like other industries, the main driver behind cloud adoption lies in the reduced expense of maintaining in-house infrastructure. In short, it is a business advantage, even though Kumar hopes that as wider adoption continues, there will be a “greater focus on aspects related to security, privacy, data protection and IP management.”
This is a common reason, particularly in the enterprise setting, for a move to the cloud. Interestingly, this is one segment of the cloud user base that has strict compliance mandates to adhere to. The risk and expense of compliance is clearly seen as worth it for some of the early adopters of cloud in life sciences and pharma and if Kumar is correct, more are likely to climb on board in 2011.
Full story at PharmTech
Researchers from the Suddhananda Engineering and Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, India developed a job scheduling system, which they call Service Level Agreement (SLA) scheduling, that is meant to achieve acceptable methods of resource provisioning similar to that of potential in-house systems. They combined that with an on-demand resource provisioner to ensure utilization optimization of virtual machines.
Experimental scientific HPC applications are continually being moved to the cloud, as covered here in several capacities over the last couple of weeks. Included in that rundown, Co-founder and CEO of CloudSigma Robert Jenkins penned an article for HPC in the Cloud where he discussed the emergence of cloud technologies to supplement research capabilities of big scientific initiatives like CERN and ESA (the European Space Agency)...
When considering moving excess or experimental HPC applications to a cloud environment, there will always be obstacles. Were that not the case, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based HPC would rule the high performance landscape. Jonathan Stewart Ward and Adam Barker of the University of St. Andrews produced an intriguing report on the state of cloud computing, paying a significant amount of attention to the problems facing cloud computing.
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