STRIDES Initiative - How Can Cloud Services Be Used for Research

Some of the potential key benefits realized by researchers when using the cloud include ease of collaboration, equitable access, reduction of data duplication, and the facilitation of reproducible science in a secure, authenticated environment.

The cloud may be a good fit for researchers who are looking to easily share data from multiple locations or to gain access to public datasets. Cloud processing and sharing can provide additional collaboration opportunities for data that is already findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). The elasticity of cloud computational resources can be useful for researchers who require scalability for variable data volumes. Services for areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can be accessed on demand, often making the cloud enticing for those who need complex data visualization or insights quickly through analytics.

In addition to the many opportunities cloud enables, it is also well-suited to address practical challenges of modern biomedical research.

  • Datasets are outgrowing local infrastructure, inhibiting researchers’ ability to maintain them.
  • Compute requirements to process these large datasets are exceeding local capacity, inhibiting analysis.
  • Downloading large scale data to a local computer for analysis may be more difficult than bringing computational capability to where the data is located.
  • Collaborating on research projects across organizations can be challenging due to differences in local IT environments.

This page last reviewed on April 6, 2023