On-demand virtual research environments using microservices

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Published: 2019-11-11

Formatted citation

Capuccini M, Larsson A, Carone M, Novella JA, Sadawi N, Gao J, Toor S, Spjuth O. On-demand virtual research environments using microservices.
PeerJ Computer Science. 5, e232 (2019). DOI: 10.7717/peerj-cs.232


The computational demands for scientific applications are continuously increasing. The emergence of cloud computing has enabled on-demand resource allocation. However, relying solely on infrastructure as a service does not achieve the degree of flexibility required by the scientific community. Here we present a microservice-oriented methodology, where scientific applications run in a distributed orchestration platform as software containers, referred to as on-demand, virtual research environments. The methodology is vendor agnostic and we provide an open source implementation that supports the major cloud providers, offering scalable management of scientific pipelines. We demonstrate applicability and scalability of our methodology in life science applications, but the methodology is general and can be applied to other scientific domains.