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European Bioinformatics Institute and Red Hat Collaborate to Enhance Global Biological Research Capabilities

Collaborative big data cloud solution, Embassy Cloud, enabled by Red Hat OpenStack Platform

RALEIGH, N.C.

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, is using Red Hat OpenStack Platform to deliver the scale and flexibility required to drive its Embassy Cloud project. The goal of Embassy Cloud is to transform the way collaborative research, such as pan-cancer analysis, tackles the world’s toughest biological challenges.

We are now using the Red Hat OpenStack Platform to support these collaborations - it has the flexibility and scalability needed to allow people working on different projects, in different locations, to access the information they need, as and when they need it.

Steven Newhousehead of Technical Services at EMBL-EBI

EMBL-EBI provides freely available data from life science experiments to researchers worldwide. On average per day, there are more than 16 million requests to use data on its websites. EMBL-EBI actively encourages collaboration, inspires new research and provides advanced bioinformatics training to scientists at all levels. Increasingly, it is working to provide a common IT infrastructure on which research organizations of all sizes can work.

The life sciences industry has a long tradition of collaboration. However, modern research requires access to huge data sets, and not every research institute has the resources to create the necessary computing power. Embassy Cloud provides private, more secure, virtual-machine-based workspaces within the EMBL-EBI infrastructure, where collaborators can make optimal use of their own customized workflows, applications, and datasets.

EMBL-EBI has a long-standing relationship with Red Hat, having relied on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for several years. The institute had previously used VMware’s vCloud for its Embassy Cloud but was in need of a replacement solution that could scale its IT resources dramatically, both up and down. Recognizing OpenStack as an accepted standard in the research community, EMBL-EBI migrated to the Red Hat OpenStack Platform to deliver a scalable, flexible cloud platform that would support its objective of improving global research collaborations.

EMBL-EBI considered two major factors when deciding to migrate: the platform had to be co-engineered to work seamlessly with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and the provider had to provide local, hands-on support in Europe. The provider’s local IT teams had to be available to provide guidance and technical assistance to the institute’s in-house teams, whenever and wherever required. Red Hat delivers on both.

Today, EMBL-EBI has several ‘tenants’ using its Embassy Cloud, including not-for-profit research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. The scalability Red Hat solutions enable in this environment has already helped grow its support for its research activities from the original 2,000 to 4,000 cores. Plans are in place to grow Embassy Cloud to 6,000 cores and four petabytes.

Supporting Quotes

Steven Newhouse, head of Technical Services at EMBL-EBI

"Many global research collaborations would not be possible without the functionality of Embassy Cloud. We are now using the Red Hat OpenStack Platform to support these collaborations - it has the flexibility and scalability needed to allow people working on different projects, in different locations, to access the information they need, as and when they need it."

Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack, Red Hat

“It’s an honor to work closely with EMBL-EBI, whose collaborative and open approach to solving some of the world’s most challenging problems strongly resonates with the Red Hat approach to transforming enterprise IT We’re excited about role of open source solutions and in particular, production-ready Red Hat OpenStack Platform, in helping to truly define and accelerate the future of science and discovery.”

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