Microbase2.0: a generic framework for computationally intensive bioinformatics workflows in the cloud

J Integr Bioinform. 2012 Sep 24;9(2):212. doi: 10.2390/biecoll-jib-2012-212.


As bioinformatics datasets grow ever larger, and analyses become increasingly complex, there is a need for data handling infrastructures to keep pace with developing technology. One solution is to apply Grid and Cloud technologies to address the computational requirements of analysing high throughput datasets. We present an approach for writing new, or wrapping existing applications, and a reference implementation of a framework, Microbase2.0, for executing those applications using Grid and Cloud technologies. We used Microbase2.0 to develop an automated Cloud-based bioinformatics workflow executing simultaneously on two different Amazon EC2 data centres and the Newcastle University Condor Grid. Several CPU years' worth of computational work was performed by this system in less than two months. The workflow produced a detailed dataset characterising the cellular localisation of 3,021,490 proteins from 867 taxa, including bacteria, archaea and unicellular eukaryotes. Microbase2.0 is freely available from http://www.microbase.org.uk/.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Software*
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Workflow