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A cloud – based research environment for a North – American medical research institution

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  • Country

    USA

  • Industry

    Healthcare

  • Type

    Web Application

  • Duration

    Ongoing 9 Years

About

A North-American medical research institution was looking to enable their employees to use external cloud resources for analyzing large volumes of medical data. Envion was en­gaged to develop for this purpose a cloud-based Big Data Research Environment solution that included a web portal.

The Research Environment portal is a Web-based applica­tion, designed for one-point management and processing of large volumes of medical data in a cloud using a variety of data-mining techniques. The solution makes it possible to gain access to powerful cloud-based computing facilities and use a wide variety of research software in conjunction with them. The software deployed in the cloud includes a broad array of Python-, Java-, C-based, and other indus­try-standard statistical analysis tools. The user can config­ure any of these applications from the portal.

The Research Environment portal includes the Admin part that allows the client’s system administrator to manage users, their organization units, and permissions. The system administrator can also modify an available computing re­source. The data can be stored in a variety of formats as is re­quired by the different software applications deployed in the cloud. The user can view all their data from any one of their computers and simultaneously modify data on multiple machines.

Result

One-point management and processing data in a cloud. The portal made it possible to gain access to powerful cloud-based computing facilities, and use a wide variety of research software in conjunction with them. A user could configure any of these applications from the portal.

Easy user administration. The Research Environment portal included the Admin part allowing the client’s system administrator manage users, their organization units, and permissions. The system administrator can also modify an available computing resource.

Commonality and convenience. Due to the clustered storage of user data implemented by the project team, the data can be stored in a variety of formats as required by the different software applications deployed in the cloud. A user can view data from any computer, and simultaneously modify data on multiple computers.

Challenge

Envion Software’s client, a leading North-American medical research institution (we also have implemented a major data-processing automation project for them), challenged us again to further enhance their data-processing facilities.

The research institution was now looking for a way to enable their researchers to use external cloud resources for analyzing large volumes of medical data. After a discussion with the client, it was decid­ed that Envion would be engaged to develop for this purpose a cloud-based Research Environment solution that would include a web portal. The Research Environment portal is a Web-based applica­tion that allows accessing a vast amount of medical data, making it available for analysis.

It is designed for one-point management and processing of this data in a cloud. The portal makes it possible to gain access to powerful cloud-based computing facilities, and use a wide variety of re­search software in conjunction with them. The software that is deployed in the cloud includes a broad array of Python-, Java-, C-based and other industry-standard statistical analysis tools. The user can configure any of these applications from the portal.

The Research Environment portal includes the Admin part that allows the client’s system administra­tor to manage users, their organization units, and permissions. The system administrator can also modify an available computing resource.

Due to the clustered storage of user data implemented by the project team, the data can be stored in a variety of formats as is required by the different software applications deployed in the cloud. The user can view all their data from any one of their computers, and simultaneously modify data on mul­tiple computers.

Approach

As the wide variety of the software deployed in the cloud required that data be stored in the different corresponding formats, designing the architecture of the solution took some additional effort. An additional architecture-related challenge was also created by the need to provide access to multiple software applications, while ensuring a high level of security.

Some other technologically challenging tasks included developing the intricate instance cost estimation functionality, and a capability that allowed the user to pause running instances of any of the supported applications. As the client did not have any technical experts who could facilitate Envion’s interactions with them, our project team had to resolve any project-related issues by communicating directly with the client’s senior management.

Despite the above complications, our project team delivered all constituent parts of the solution’s functionality in full compliance with the client’s corresponding requirements and deadlines. The solution itself was designed for one-point management and processing of this data in a cloud. The portal makes it possible to gain access to powerful cloud-based computing facilities, and use a wide variety of research software in conjunction with them. The software that is deployed in the cloud includes a broad array of Python-, Java-, C-based and other industry-standard statistical analysis tools. The user can configure any of these applications from the portal.

Also, the Research Environment portal includes the Admin part that allows the client’s system administrator to manage users, their organization units, and permissions. The system administrator can also modify an available computing resource.

Due to the clustered storage of user data implemented by the project team, the data can be stored in a variety of formats as required by the different software applications deployed in the cloud. The users can view all their data from any one of their computers, and simultaneously modify data on multiple computers.

Technical details

  • AWS
  • Java
  • Python
  • MySQL
  • Zend Framework
  • jQuery
  • JavaScript

Business result

Implementing the Research Environment cloud-based solution allowed our client dramatically increase their data-processing potential. Any of their researchers can now conveniently use any software they need in conjunction with powerful external facilities that allows them process much larger volumes of data with even greater efficiency.

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