Is this going to be a game changer in terms of mining of genomics data ? Will it be accessible by everyone?
"Google Genomics to help the life science community organize the world's genomic information and make it accessible and useful, using some of the same technologies that power Google services like Search and Maps"
The download speed to my AWS server hosted in Frankfurt (I live in Germany) is 50Mb/s. My upload speed however is only 5Mb/s. Therefore, to upload 1Tb of data to AWS would take roughly 444.4 hours, or 18 and a half days assuming I get the full rate with no dropouts.
Of course you wouldn't have to transfer ALL the data before initialising some kind of analysis, but fact of the matter is that transfer time to cloud services is huge - and its only going to get worse. Illumina can half its prices a lot quicker than even the most efficient governments can dig up all the road from here to Frankfurt and lay twice the fibre.
I think it would be much more efficient to take the sequencing machine to Google. But then you'd need the biological samples and the wetlab scientists there too. And I guess having the Bioinformaticians in proximity would be nice too. That's a pretty broad range of people, so I guess you could call this new facility 'The Broad Institute of Google', or something.
Local security policies take precedent over everything else. On the other hand, equating cloud computing services != secure is something that has to change over time. Even NIH is taking (baby) steps in this direction: http://gds.nih.gov/pdf/NIH_Position_Statement_on_Cloud_Computing.pdf
At the end of the day google compute/genomics is a service that you are paying for under a legal binding agreement which will clearly define responsibilities of the respective parties (security and otherwise). Considering the cost of local infrastructure and the clout google/amazon/microsoft bring via their volume purchasing power .. it is a matter of time before cloud gets accepted as a viable option for doing genomics.
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