CMRI cuts costs by 25% with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Australian research institute embraces OCI Data Science to unlock flexibility and scalability, discover new insights, and perform analysis faster.

A typical numerical simulation will take around 30 days with a small computer that already has a GPU. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Science, we can do the same simulation in about five days.

Pablo GalavizSenior Data Scientist, Bioinformatician, Children's Medical Research Institute

Business challenges

Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is a premier Australian medical and biological research institute and a registered charity.

For more than 60 years, the institute has been committed to advancing healthcare for children. It has many firsts to its credit, including Australia's first research unit for newborns, microsurgery techniques to help repair blood vessels and organs in infants and children, and genetic disease research.

A team of more than 170 full-time scientists and PhD students at the institute work to save and improve the lives of children affected by genetic diseases. Research in various areas, including cancer, neurobiology, embryology, genomics, and gene therapy enable diagnosis and treatment.

The organization’s experiments produce several terabytes of data. To analyze data from genomics sequencing, proteomics, high-resolution images from microscopes, and numerical simulations, it needed the best computational resources, including fast CPUs and GPUs.

With researchers collaborating from across locations, CMRI knew it was time to change the way it historically managed data pipelines. The institute wanted to optimize its processes to improve performance, facilitate seamless collaboration, and make the most out of data.

As a result, the institute began combining the functionality of bioinformatics applications across the institute into one system to better enable and empower researchers to deliver faster and more accessible information.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Data Science offer excellent performance and have up-to-date hardware and software, excellent technical support, a superior user interface, and priceless flexibility.

Pablo GalavizSenior Data Scientist/Bioinformatician, Children's Medical Research Institute

Why Children's Medical Research Institute Chose Oracle

The organization evaluated AWS and Google, as well as Oracle. The right cloud solution, CMRI knew, would enable the institute to provision infrastructure almost instantaneously, scale up or down as the needs shifted, and provide physical data center and virtual network security.

Given that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is highly flexible, scalable, and cost-effective, the research institute partnered with Oracle to address its immediate challenges in making research data shareable, customizable, and reusable for researchers, data scientists, and operations teams.

Oracle’s ability to work closely with CMRI’s business and technical teams to move its disparate legacy applications to a single, unified Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform was another key reason to choose Oracle—specifically Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and OCI Data Science. CMRI has also started experimenting with OCI Vision and OCI Data Labeling.

Results

The move to OCI has helped the institute take advantage of big data and machine learning capabilities to automate routine database tasks, database consolidation, operational reporting, and batch data processing.

It has also made data available much faster to the people who need it: A typical numerical simulation that once took CMRI about 30 days to perform now takes only five days with OCI Data Science, regardless of the number of simulations being run.

In the past, the institute struggled to store the terabytes of data generated via simulations, experiments, and research. Now, OCI encrypts all data at rest and offers various storage options for data with high input/output requirements. OCI also allows unique scale-up/scale-down capabilities. These advantages enable researchers to ingest all the data at a given time and run queries by scaling up compute on demand.

Additionally, the researchers and operations now can easily collaborate on research by simply uploading and sharing files onto one centralized location—OCI.

Being on a single unified cloud platform is also helping the institute create workflows and generate reproducible results. The cloud-enabled modernization is bringing CMRI transformative opportunities, such as performing complex gene therapy research, as well as cost savings of as much as 25%.

Published:July 23, 2021