Future opportunities and trends for e-infrastructures and life sciences: going beyond the grid to enable life science data analysis

Front Genet. 2015 Jun 23;6:197. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00197. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

With the increasingly rapid growth of data in life sciences we are witnessing a major transition in the way research is conducted, from hypothesis-driven studies to data-driven simulations of whole systems. Such approaches necessitate the use of large-scale computational resources and e-infrastructures, such as the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI). EGI, one of key the enablers of the digital European Research Area, is a federation of resource providers set up to deliver sustainable, integrated and secure computing services to European researchers and their international partners. Here we aim to provide the state of the art of Grid/Cloud computing in EU research as viewed from within the field of life sciences, focusing on key infrastructures and projects within the life sciences community. Rather than focusing purely on the technical aspects underlying the currently provided solutions, we outline the design aspects and key characteristics that can be identified across major research approaches. Overall, we aim to provide significant insights into the road ahead by establishing ever-strengthening connections between EGI as a whole and the life sciences community.

Keywords: Big Data; Cloud computing; Grid computing; e-infrastructures; life sciences.