Editorial Feature

The Disruptive Power of Cloud-Based Scientific Software

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Ray Lombardi, Director or Marketing at Micromeritics, shares his years of industry experience on how the scientific landscape is adopting cloud-based IT infrastructures and data sharing platforms aimed at improving research.

Science is undergoing a significant transformative change. Speed of innovation is the name of the game. Research today compels organizations to break out from traditional processes and pursue an approach that removes the obstacles to discovery superiority, innovation productivity and global collaboration.

Science by nature is collaborative, and collaborative science demands global sharing of data. Modern R&D organizations are rapidly adopting and deploying cloud-based IT infrastructures as well as utilizing cloud-based data sharing solutions like Google Drive and DropBox. This approach permits a fully integrated platform that will allow R&D organizations to better manage research pipelines as well as facilitate access to data and improve data sharing.

Cloud-based software is deployed on a central server and access is made available by subscription in paid services or by distinct user log-ins deployed in intercompany systems. Cloud based systems offer distinct advantages over traditional software. With cloud based systems, an unlimited numbers of user can access the same data simultaneously.  Storage is nearly infinite and exceeds by many multiples what can be stored locally at a PC.

Improvements to the software are available instantaneously and to all users, in most cases without any cost. And most important, data is secure, controllable and accessible by approved collaborators anywhere and at any time. Current cloud based systems have focused mainly on data storage, where a research group can store data in a single repository and enable different stakeholders to access, review and provide input on the same data set, but many lack in the collaborative exchange forum for discussing that data.

Cloud based software in now evolving into its next generation for today’s researcher. This new generation of cloud based scientific computing locates the actual software to process and interpret raw data generated by the instrument within the cloud. This next generation approach permits raw data to be processed remotely from anywhere at any time, and additionally, by any number of approved users who have been given secure access to the file by the owner.

MicroActive Share, a product of Micromeritics Instruments, is an example of this type of cloud based software where raw data is automatically uploaded when an instrument analysis is competed and the raw data is available immediately for data analysis within the cloud.  It is located on the secure Amazon WS network of servers. Security is the same level of protection provided to financial institutes, health organizations and credit card processors. The AWS system is extremely secure, as data copies are backed up on multiple servers. Any file can easily be restored or accessed when desired.

This unique cloud-based solution incorporates interactive components to model raw data into significant and intelligent insight for the analyzed product. It provides a user designated group structure that can consist of secure, chosen individuals. Additionally, there is an online forum to collaborate, debate and innovate without compromising full data analysis capabilities all on the cloud- with nothing being required to download or restricted to work locally.

Users can still run data in a protected, encrypted program utilizing all of the complex equations needed to chart accurate results. There is an unlimited access capability, so that many predefined user can access the same data set, anywhere in the world at the same time. They can also join an online public community of scientists to selectively share data, ask questions and test theories, all within the program.

MicroActive Share is a very unique, collaborative cloud-based software system that permits materials characterization researchers to analyze their data from any web enabled device and then seek recommendations, input, consultation and discussion from other scientists around the world, all within one program.

For more information on this source, please visit Micromeritics Instrument Corporation.

 

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