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DNA strand
26 October, 2020

CloudStor integration for Galaxy Australia is now live

Life sciences researchers using the Galaxy Australia analysis platform can now easily and securely move their data to and from the AARNet CloudStor research data storage platform.

This new integration is helping to streamline workflows for Australian researchers collaborating nationally and internationally on projects across the sciences and humanities that aim to solve some of the biggest problems facing our planet.

Galaxy Australia is a vital informatics virtual lab that is allowing researchers to analyse biological data without any specialised knowledge of programming or IT. All the computational infrastructure and software the researchers need is set up and ready to go, simplifying the analysis process for thousands of life scientists. It is operated by the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation and the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Bioinformatics, utilising the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC)’s Nectar Research Cloud and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre computational resources.

Galaxy Australia is an active member of the global Galaxy Project community and is supported by Bioplatforms Australia (through the Australian BioCommons initiative), ARDC, the University of Melbourne and the Queensland Government’s Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund.

CloudStor is a cloud research data storage platform developed by AARNet for the Australian research and academic community. It is hosted on the AARNet network and offers integrated applications to support research workflows and allows users to store, share, describe and analyse data safely in one place. Users can access their CloudStor workspace from multiple devices, import data from a variety of sources and easily collaborate on files with colleagues at different institutions. Currently, users from every Australian University and CSIRO have access to a CloudStor allocation.

Dr Frankie Stevens, AARNet’s Deputy Director, eResearch, said an increasing number of life sciences researchers are using both Galaxy Australia and CloudStor for their work.

“The ability to streamline the secure transfer of data between the two platforms was a logical next step. This is a great example of how AARNet is collaborating with the research community to develop tools and services that meet the unique needs of researchers,” she said.

AARNet worked closely with the Galaxy team on the development of the integration under the leadership of Dr Gareth Price, Head of Computational Biology at QFAB and Service Manager at Galaxy Australia.

“Galaxy Australia users have a number of mechanisms to bring data easily into the platform, from their local computer, from websites and from international repositories. However, an important missing route into the platform was the secure transfer of data from CloudStor,” he said.

Now, with the release of the “Import from CloudStor” tool users of Galaxy Australia can apply a simple configuration to their CloudStor storage allocation. This enables them to navigate to their folders and files and import directly into Galaxy. Additionally, a ”Send data to CloudStor” tool allows, within the same web interface, a simple select and click secure transmission of data from Galaxy Australia into CloudStor.

This is a great example of how CloudStor can be integrated with analysis platforms to support research data workflows.