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November 17, 2010

Microsoft launches NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure

Combines desktop resources with cloud computing for critical biological research

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has launched NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure, a new application that enables a broader community of scientists to combine desktop resources with the power of cloud computing for critical biological research.

The company said that NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure provides a user-friendly Web interface and access to Windows Azure cloud computing for very large BLAST ( Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) computations, and smaller-scale operations.

In addition, the application allows scientists to use and collaborate with their private data collections, and data hosted on Windows Azure, including NCBI public protein data collections and the results of Microsoft’s large protein comparison.

Microsoft server and tools business president Bob Muglia said NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure gives all research organisations the same computing resources that traditionally only the largest labs have been able to afford.

"It shows how Windows Azure provides the genuine platform-as-a-service capabilities that technical computing applications need to extract insights from massive data, in order to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges across science, business and government," Muglia said.

Microsoft has also launched Service Pack for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, which allows customers to connect their on-premises high-performance computing systems to Windows Azure.

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