Building applications for scientific communities

Mr Anders Savill1

1Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Kensington, Australia


In the digital age, Scientists are facing a number of new challenges. For example the emergence of high-throughput sequencing has pushed the study of some biology fields into the computer science realm, however the skills and software required to deploy and manage these new complex workflows will take much longer to develop. In this presentation we explore the relationship between the investigator, the enabling technology and their supportive communities. This presentation will outline how researchers can be best supported to use technology to enable their research. Our focus is on leveraging containerisation technology which will allow complex workflows to be deployed on a diverse range of platforms including cloud services and HPC. Building on the existing Docker API provides us the ability to transparently deploy containers to any configured host. On top of the container stack we can deploy a web services for users to start, stop and manage their own workflows and services. Through collaboration with research partners we can develop a wide range of easy to use applications backed by well documented scientific methods. It is apparent that where there is a strong and supportive relationship between the investigators, the provider of the enabling technology and the community, researchers have greater opportunities to create impact. Accessible and easy to use containerised workflows have the opportunity to accelerate diagnostic testing, simplify the transition to parallel computing and lower the bar of entry to complex computing.


Anders is a Web Applications Developer at the Pawsey Supercomputing Center where he works on computing and HPC related problems within the wider research community and Pawsey Partners.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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