U of Missouri Cloud — Some Real Serious Stuff

IBM and the University of Missouri are joining forces to create a cloud that will help the school develop and deliver data on some real important life sciences discoveries.

Usually, when I’ve written about schools and cloud providers getting together it’s to talk about improving administrative processes or offer staff and students 24/7 access to email or course content.  In fact, the interest in the cloud among schools is so strong that we at Monitis even designed a versatile and innovative plan to help schools migrate to the cloud.

But I was really impressed reading about what the University of Missouri plans for its cloud. The school will make use of IBM’s high-performance computing tech to grow the school’s bioinformatics research projects. The first phase of the research objective is to build a cloud computing environment for genomics research collaboration at a regional level.  The joint cloud will let school researchers share their findings and discoveries in a broad range of fields with each other in a quicker, more efficient fashion that currently.

And that not only represents administrative improvements, but also improves peoples’ lives. What do I mean, specifically? In the article I read about the development, most of what the University is working on involves the study of genome sequences in plants and animals that aims to help improve the quality and quantity of food production. MU researchers hope that the study of bovine genes will help them increase livestock reproductive efficiency and find ways to grow corn in drought conditions. Meanwhile, other projects are aimed at fighting the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria and H1N1.

Wow! Makes other schools cloud computing efforts seem a bit mundane, ha? It’s becoming more and more clear each day that cloud computing at schools is not only a way to better husband scarce resources and gain efficiencies and improve services for both students and staff, but it’s also a portal that’ll bring improved collaboration on some very important scientific projects — which will bring new benefits to humanity.