The Cloud provides you with access to a range of analysis apps that act as online tools for analyzing your data.
Because you don’t need to install anything, you don’t need to worry about updating software or installing new patches. When your data files are securely stored on the cloud, along with the software, this means space on your hard drive is available for other applications. You’re not tied down to any particular computer - You only need a web browser to give you access to your data.
If you have a Cloud-enabled instrument, such as the QuantStudio 3 or 5 real time PCR instruments, you can remotely set up your protocols and plate layout, and download this directly to the instrument. Once the plate is inserted, you can start your run. As raw data are generated, they are automatically uploaded to your private Cloud account for you to monitor.
If your instrument is not cloud-enabled, you can install the Cloud Connect Utility (CCU) app on the computer located with the instrument. Once synced to your Cloud account, any run file that you place in the CCU folder will be automatically uploaded to the cloud.
Of course, if your instruments do not run on your lab network, you can simply save the run file to a USB key, and then upload to the Cloud from an internet-enabled computer.
There is no need to wait for software to launch on your desktop or huge data files to open, and the online software has analysis speeds up to 50 times faster than those on desktop.
Analysis apps are currently available for real-time qPCR, next-generation or Sanger CE sequencing, gene editing, end-point PCR and mass spectrometry. Within gene editing, you can even design primers using the Oligo Perfect app.
Each app is designed to be very intuitive to help you analyze and then present your data. A nice feature that you’ll find across the analysis apps is the enhanced visualization capabilities for presenting your data. You can export these graphics to use in reports or presentations.
For example, if I did a SNP genotyping run on my real-time PCR instrument, I would open the Genotyping app and import my .eds run file. Here, I could look at target amplification plots as well as constructing allelic discrimination plots. Or, if I had just completed some CE sequencing, I might be interested in checking the CE sequence trace quality.
You can combine over five hundred 384-well plates, 500 TaqMan® Array cards or 100 OpenArray® plates in to a project, and analyze the data within minutes. You also have the ability to customize grouping of data within projects for thorough analysis.
You may also find the new “Instrument Connect” app very useful. This app is for your smartphone and will enable you to monitor your Cloud-enabled instruments, including the Applied Biosystems™ QuantStudio™ 3 and 5 real-time PCR instruments, or the ProFlex™ and SimpliAmp™ end-point PCR devices. You can check instrument availability, monitor run progress, review amplification plots (by sample or target) in real time.
Storage and Security
Every Thermo Fisher Cloud user will start with 10 GB of free storage. Based on the instruments you use, your free storage amount will automatically be adjusted up to 1 TB of free storage. You can easily increase or decrease your storage amount anytime, and you can purchase additional storage capacity ranging from 25 GB to 10 TB plans.
Managing, copying and transporting your data files using portable or desktop hardware comes with a certain degree of risk, but the Thermo Fisher Cloud data storage system minimizes data vulnerability.
Because confidentiality of data and protocols is critical, the Thermo Fisher Cloud is a secured, high-performing computing platform built on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing infrastructure.
This industry-standard security infrastructure includes data encryption, network firewalls, scheduled audits to assess vulnerability and data integrity, and data back-up and recovery.
The AWS data centre has achieved the highest levels of SSAE 16 certification and has published a Service Organization Control 1 (SOC 1®) report.
You can find more information on “secure data management” with AWS at the Thermo Fisher Cloud FAQs database.
Once uploaded to your Cloud account, you can share any of your files with other Thermo Fisher Cloud users. They may be in the lab next door, or in a lab on the other side of the Atlantic. Simply select a file or set files and share with your colleague using their email address. They will receive an email with a link to access the file. You can also un-share files at any time. This is a nice, easy and convenient feature.
Feedback from customers
Having spoken with many of our customers who are using the Cloud, they often highlight some key advantageous features. These include the ease of use, storage capacity and the fact that the Cloud can be accessed on PC and MAC. File accessibility is also proving very useful when sharing files with colleagues and supervisors to review data or to troubleshoot. I also expect that this will provide an excellent teaching tool in undergraduate modules.
In terms of analyzing data, customers are also benefiting from being able to manage more in-depth levels of analysis, such as biogrouping and assigning specific calibrator and reference samples in detailed gene expression experiments, and then auto-populating the respective RQ calculations and expression profiles and bar charts.
To gain access to the Thermo Fisher Cloud, you simply need to register your email here.
It’s free, and tutorials and demo files are available for you to try it out - give it a go!
David O'Neill, PhD
Field Application Specialist