eResearch

What do researchers really think of CloudStor?

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Genome Sequence

 

The number of researchers using our CloudStor service to share large files has steadily climbed during 2013, reaching 9684 on 9 December. Feedback has been consistently positive and we’ve acted on user suggestions for improvements along the way.

 

Here’s what Stephen Rudd, Head of Computational Biology at QFAB at the University of Queensland says about his team’s CloudStor experience:

 

“At QFAB Bioinformatics we are working with genomics data – results from RNASeq, Exome and whole genome studies are typically gzipped and range from tens to hundreds of gigabytes in size.

 

At the moment most of the DNA sequencing facilities share data on those nasty USB disks. It is slow to get data onto the disk, it is slow to get the data off the disk and additional steps are required to copy files from desktop onto central computing resources (if you can even read the NTFS formatted disk on your Mac). We have also encountered a number of corrupt disks – a pain when they are being shipped interstate.

 

My experiences with CloudStor thus far show that it is easier for a customer or collaborator to send me data via CloudStor. I have sent vouchers to Saudi Arabia and they have uploaded tens of gigs of data – this was faster and easier than using Fedex. Downloads straight to the server are awesome and mighty fast!

 

Yesterday I received a wonderful 60 Gig file from the other side of Brisbane – geographically just a couple of kms – but undoubtedly travelling along very much more cable. This transfer was managed in a 20 minute download direct onto our Linux cluster.

 

I love CloudStor – but see some of the usability challenges from the less IT aware biologists who we work with. If you were to implement some changes it would be awesome if a user could upload multiple files within a single virtual object. If this could be managed with a drag-and-drop GUI then perhaps some of the reluctance of the less technical data generators could be overcome.

 

I would recommend that your team could meet with some of the DNA sequencing people from the various academic institutions who need to get the data to customers and collaborators across Australia – CloudStor promises to make all of our lives a whole lot easier. “

 

Thanks Stephen, we’ve listened to you.

As a matter of fact we have, over the past year or so, made a point of actively listening to genomics people and geologists and other researchers who deal with filesets rather than files (they were easily spotted –when you spot a zipped file of several Gigabytes in the cloudStor transfer logs, that tells you a story!).

It’s got to the point where we think we’ve got a presentable preview of the code ready now. It does multiple file upload; it also does drag&drop (and a couple things more). If you’re keen to give it a burl, it lives here: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/filesender-test/

We’re very keen to hear your feedback!

 

Researchers, have your say –  please send CloudStor feedback to eresearch@aarnet.edu.au

 

 

 


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