Thomas Connor, Cardiff University / Nick Loman, Birmingham University


The large datasets that are routinely generated by modern biological instruments frequently outstrip the analytical and storage capacity available to microbiological research groups. Despite investment in national cloud resources, many biologists, even those familiar with data analysis, find that despite the power/flexibility of cloud, using cloud resources introduces new complexity to their analyses (e.g. around provisioning VMs and installing software stacks). Within the MRC funded CLoud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics (CLIMB) we have sought to mitigate the complexities of cloud by developing a launcher that enables researchers to rapidly provision preconfigured instances on our federated cloud infrastructure, on demand.

Our default preconfigured instance is the Genomics Virtual Laboratory, providing users with a personal research gateway, preconfigured with web services including Galaxy, Jupyter Hub and a range of command line tools. In addition, we also host community resources (such as EDGE) and provide tools for users to develop, and share, their own VMs within the system. In this talk we will introduce our system and our service, with a particular focus on how our launcher and the GVL have driven adoption of CLIMB by the community – to the extent that we now support over 290 research groups across the UK.