Meet the new DNAnexus and its Configurable Cloud Infrastructure

dnanexus betaIt’s been a busy first week since we launched the beta of the new DNAnexus, our cloud-based DNA analysis platform designed for bioinformaticians. We’ve been blown away by the number of people who have signed up for the program and provided a lot of very positive and constructive feedback. We encourage all of our beta users to continue to comment on their experience. Request access today and see for yourself what it is all about.

 

configurable cloud infrastructureThis week we’d like to highlight one of the core capabilities of the new DNAnexus platform, the configurable cloud infrastructure, which lets you take full advantage of Amazon’s scalable and cost-effective Web Services. It not only allows you to scale your computational and data storage needs to any level, it is also fully scriptable and allows you to create an analysis solution that fits your specific needs. The benefit is eliminating capacity planning since you can now store and process any data on demand and only pay for what you use.

 

At DNAnexus we have always used the pay-as-you-go model for computational and storage services; this will continue with the new DNAnexus. The benefit of a pay-as-you-go approach is that you can cost-effectively address your needs today and scale up or down as those needs change. Whether you are familiar with or new to sequence data analysis, you can immediately get started with your data analysis projects without any setup costs or capacity planning risks — regardless of how many samples you might have. This is because the new platform, with its configurable infrastructure, processes samples in parallel, resolving resource contention issues among different teams.

 

When we set out to build the new platform, one of the most common requests we heard was for a fully configurable solution — allowing bioinformaticians and computational analysts the ability to run custom programs, tune compute performance through parallelization, and more. All of this is now possible with the new platform, through well-documented APIs and SDK, as these allow rich scripting for any data management, analysis, visualization, or reporting desires.

 

configurable genomics platform

Another advantage of this new infrastructure is that you can now manage and manipulate your data not only via the web interface, but also through the command-line, which is compatible with Linux and Mac OS X. The open and flexible new DNAnexus platform, with its SDK language support, allows you to run any tool in any language and perform platform operations through API bindings in Python, C++, Java, and the Bash Shell. This allows you to fully automate entire workflows from sequencing data upload to analysis and report generation. You may also create best practices workflows that can be easily shared with non-bioinformaticians within or across institutions.

 

In the weeks to come, we’ll explore the many additional capabilities of the new DNAnexus (e.g., the “Extensible Genomics Toolbox”, “Instant Collaboration”, and “Security and Compliance”). In the meantime, please take advantage of our beta program and sign up for your own account and explore firsthand what the new DNAnexus has to offer.

 

Hello World! Come Take the new DNAnexus for a Test Drive

dnanexus betaToday marks the official beta launch of our new platform, and we can’t wait for you to try it out!

As our current users know, DNAnexus focuses on massively parallel, cloud-based solutions for analyzing, managing, and storing genomic data. With this beta launch of our new platform, we have a host of exciting new features and capabilities to tell you about.

The new DNAnexus has been developed with the expert analyst or bioinformatician in mind (our existing offering will now be known as DNAnexus Classic). The new DNAnexus is a secure and extensible genomics data analysis and collaboration environment designed to meet IT and compliance requirements, built for the bioinformatician in research or the clinic. If you are a bioinformatician who would like to dig into the technical side of genomics data analysis and you’re dealing with large amounts of sequence data, then this platform is for you. It is configurable, provides an ever-expanding genomics toolbox, and allows instant and secure data analysis and collaboration.

Here are a few highlights:

  1. Take advantage of a fully configurable and scriptable infrastructure through the command-line and documented APIs, SDK, and web browser.
  2. Leverage Amazon Web Services for scalable, cost-effective computing and data storage.
  3. Get started immediately by leveraging a genomics toolbox rich in industry-recognized analysis tools and datasets.
  4. Create your own custom analysis tools, filters, and workflows to run and distribute in the cloud.
  5. Visualize your genomic data via an integrated, HTML5-based genome browser.
  6. Securely share genomics data, analysis tools, and workflows.
  7. Take advantage of a system that has enterprise-grade security and has been designed for people in drug, device, or diagnostics development, as well as CLIA labs and clinical environments.
Of course, the best way to see what the new DNAnexus has to offer is by test driving it yourself. Today, we officially kick off the beta for the new DNAnexus. During this beta users may upload and analyze as much as 1 Tbyte of sequence data (which is more than enough to store and process one whole genome), create and tune workflows, check out the many available analysis tools and data sets, and much more. To sign up and create your free beta account, simply enter your email address here and we’ll contact you with details on how to get started.

JP Morgan in Review: Expect Rapid Evolution in Sequence Analysis and Big Data Needs

Last week’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference was the usual biotech extravaganza, filling downtown San Francisco with so many analysts and investors you could mistake it for Wall Street. The great thing about this event is that it serves as a platform for all of the presenting companies to lay out their plans for the new year — giving the rest of us guidance about what to expect.

jp morgan healthcare conference

Illumina, for example, announced its acquisition of Stanford spinout Moleculo, which has developed a way to generate multi-kilobase reads from sequencing-by-synthesis technologies. With Moleculo’s IP, Illumina will likely have users producing very long sequence reads in the first half of this year, though currently most existing assemblers and other sequence analysis algorithms have been optimized for much shorter reads. If this long-read technology performs as advertised, we anticipate a flurry of activity as developers tweak their aligners and assemblers to make the most of these multi-kilobase reads.

In applied markets, Illumina acquired prenatal testing firm Verinata Health, and Life Technologies announced the formation of Claritas Genomics, a joint venture with Boston Children’s Hospital to develop diagnostics for the Ion Torrent sequencing platform. With these moves, both companies continue their march on the clinical market — giving us even more certainty about the need for sequence analysis and interpretation tools that will fit the requirements of users in clinical labs. These downstream users will be best served with simple but highly customized tools that match their specific environment, tasks, confidentiality mandates, and other attributes.

In general trends, the focus on big data was inescapable at JP Morgan, and served as a particular highlight of a breakfast panel hosted by FierceBiotech. No longer just the concern of chief information officers, big data is seen as equal parts opportunity and pitfall in the biomedical and healthcare field. Lon Cardon from GlaxoSmithKline encouraged people to think of it as good science rather than just “big data.” Meanwhile, John Reynders from AstraZeneca noted that the value of big data lies in the human element — that is, how we query it and what we’re looking for.

Back at DNAnexus headquarters, where we’re putting the finishing touches on our new platform to enable people to make the most of big data, the observations from JP Morgan offer nice validation of the path we’ve been planning. Our new platform has been designed for flexibility, giving users control over which algorithms best fit their data — whether those data sets are small or large in size, based on short-read or long-read sequence, and more. And with the growing use of sequencing in the clinical realm, we have worked hard to make sure the new platform will be a good fit for users who must comply with HIPAA and other regulatory requirements. Check back with us often, and we’ll keep you posted as we get the new platform ready for its debut!