the tests, we must inform AWS that we
are going to perform these tests or they
detect, flag and block the intrusion.” “
Security,” he says, “was certainly a major
focus of the Central Intelligence Agency
which recently signed a $600 million
contract with AWS.”
Another product taking advantage of
AWS is PerkinElmer’s Elements
( elements.perkinelmer.com) launched in
March of this year. Elements came to
PE though an acquisition of Wingu in
the fall of 2013. With Elements, PE has
purposely taken a different philosophy
than the others with focused attention on
academic collaboration, a group that has
been historically much less resistant to
the cloud than large pharma.
Elements is fundamentally a thin
client ELN and collaboration software-
as-a-service solution built using Java,
repository. The basic ELN functionality
is extended through data containers and
workflow apps known as Elements. Once
created, the user drags an Element onto
an experiment page from a storefront.
Currently, PE must develop these apps,
but the vision is to open the development
environment to third parties and users.
An application program interface is said
to be in the works.
Asked how the system differs from
PE’s flagship thick client E-Notebook
ELN, Brian Gilman, Elements product
manager says, “E-Notebook is for those
who need a richer set of capabilities.
The focus of Elements is on simplicity
and those users who require a basic ELN
and collaboration environment.” He
goes on to say that one should “never
underestimate the complexity of scientific
workflows. By keeping it simple, we can
focus on the core features that are needed
across many different types of users and
grab the ‘long tail.’”
The academic market has been histori-
cally slow to adopt ELN. By focusing on
simplicity and a flexible pricing model,
PE hopes to change this. “A user can start
with Elements for free,” says Gilman.
“They can have up to five experiments at
no charge. If their needs expand beyond
that, there are incremental monthly plans
based on storage and features.” With this
“try and buy” approach, PE is encour-
aging students and their teachers to use
ELN for their class assignments without
cost. In the future, PE hopes to further
the use of ELN in education through
additional features, such as interactive
teaching and grading.
The majority of newly announced
laboratory informatics solutions are cloud
services, either as software or platform.
These introductions are helping to raise
awareness of the benefits of the cloud and
are lowering resistance to adoption. How
quickly the majority of labs will transition to the cloud is anyone’s guess, but
research virtualization is a primary driver
accelerating the market evolution.
Michael Elliott is CEO of Atrium
Research & Consulting. He may be reached
Figure 4: Entering data in PE Elements