With the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing technology over the past ten years, the cost of DNA sequencing is decreasing much faster than data processing. Given that such research creates huge amounts of data, Cloud computing is becoming a favourable solution for large-scale bioinformatic analysis, both in terms of resource utilization, flexibility, and efficiency, as well as time and cost savings for massive data generation and computation.
"To meet the increasing demand for bioinformatics analysis, BGI has developed a high performance platform for researchers, comprising the distributed Cloud computing pipelines and tools", stated Ye Yin, Director of Research and Cooperation Division at BGI, "From the beginning of this year, BGI has conducted many testing and adjustment on the system in several different centres. I'm so excited that BGI-BOX has been successfully launched as scheduled. With this server, researchers could conduct the bioinformatics analysis with fast turnaround time and lower cost."
The system of BGI-BOX contains a series of BGI's standard bioinformatics analysis pipelines and software, including assembly tools, genetic variation analysis software, among others. There are two ways for remote users to easily access BGI's cluster computing and storage resources: one is logging on to BGI-BOX directly and locally, the other is logging on to BGI's computing centers by remote access. With this Cloud computing terminal server, users not only can perform basic bioinformatics analysis based on the genomic data, but also can conduct customized analysis on a variety of biological data sets by choosing relevant software and adjusting specific parameters under each analysis module.
"The debut performance of BGI-BOX is satisfactory. Many of our collaborators have expressed their willingness to install BGI-BOX in their labs in order to share and exchange data in a Cloud environment", stated Yin Ye. "In the first quarter of next year, we plan to install 50 BGI-BOXs worldwide to build a powerful and efficient cloud platform and support our partners with convenient access of bioinformatics analysis at hand", he added.