Life Science Application, FDA and Cloud Computing

Life science application comes under Life sciences industry.

Life sciences consist of all fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms such as human beings, plants, and animals. The study of behaviour of organisms is only included in as much as it involves a clearly biological aspect. Biology and medicine remain main parts of the life sciences, having said that technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have directed it to a burgeoning of specializations and new interdisciplinary fields.

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R&D process in the life science can be a long and expensive undertaking. The product development process follows basic steps at a very high level as described below:

• Phase 1 – recognition of the particle, initial testing, and toxicology studies

• Phase 2 – more development, formulation, and human testing

• Phase 3 – double blind clinical trials to test efficacy and submission for FDA approval

Life science industry operates under the regulatory guidelines put forward by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services. It is established to regulate the release of new foods and health related products.

The IT organizations in life science companies must adhere to the FDA guidelines put forth in the Code for Federal Regulations 21 Part 11 (CFR 21 Part 11). It defines how systems managing electronic records in life science firms must be validated and verified to ensure that the operation of and the information in these systems can be trusted.

Title 21 CFR Part 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations deals with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines on electronic records and electronic signatures in the United States. CFR Part 11, as it is called, defines the criteria under which electronic records and signatures are considered to be reliable and equivalent to paper records.

Part 11 requires drug makers, manufacturers, biologics developers, biotech companies, and other FDA-regulated industries to implement controls such as audits, system validations, audit trails, electronic signatures, and documentation for software and systems involved in processing electronic data that are (a) required to be maintained by the FDA predicate rules or (b) used to demonstrate compliance to a predicate rule with some specific exceptions.

The actual Part 11 compliance process for any application includes software, hardware, and operational environment for the system itself. This allows an IT Team to answer the questions.

To prove these things the system validation process has three primary components, the Installation Qualification (IQ), the Operational Qualification (OQ), and Performance Qualification scripts. Organizations manage IT environment separately for the life science applications and with proper controls placed.

CFR does not ask organization on How to do it? but it states What needs to be done.

It all comes to convincing the FDA auditor whether the Cloud environment conforms to the FDA compliance requirements or not.

Cloud computing can improve and speed up process by reducing IT complexity and cost while allowing R&D organizations to focus on the ‘what’ of the R&D process in stead of the ‘how’.

But, how Cloud Computing and FDA can be brought on a same table is the biggest issue because:

Audit / Track of following items are needed.

Ø      Hardware serial number

Ø      System configuration

Ø      Equipment location

Ø      Exact versions off all installed software

FDA compliance in Public Cloud is impossible till now because you must be aware about the detailed information on the hardware and software that your system will be running on and even the exact physical location of the resources as well.

In Private Cloud, owner has control over all resources (Hardware, Software) and thus it is still possible.

In a nutshell, public cloud model just does not fit for the current practices for validation in FDA regulated organizations. However private cloud environment could be leveraged to provide life science companies with a short cut to completing overall system validation Public Cloud’s benefit “Economy of Scale” will be out of reach in this case.

A community cloud may be established where several organizations have similar requirements and seek to share infrastructure so as to realize some of the benefits of cloud computing. With the costs spread over less users than a public cloud (but more than a single tenant) this option is more expensive but may offer a higher level of privacy, security and/or policy (FDA) compliance.

What’s latest?

Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances

Dedicated Instances are Amazon EC2 instances launched within your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) that run hardware dedicated to a single customer.

NOTE: hardware dedicated to a single customer

Dedicated Instances let you take full advantage of the benefits of Amazon VPC and the AWS cloud – on-demand elastic provisioning, pay only for what you use, and a private, isolated virtual network, all while ensuring that your Amazon EC2 compute instances will be isolated at the hardware level.

You can easily create a VPC that contains dedicated instances only, providing physical isolation for all Amazon EC2 compute instances launched into that VPC, or you can choose to mix both dedicated instances and non-dedicated instances within the same VPC based on application-specific requirements

To get started using Dedicated Instances within an Amazon VPC, perform the following steps:

  • Open and log into the AWS Management Console
  • Create an Amazon VPC if you do not already have one on the Amazon VPC tab
  • Click on Launch Instance from the EC2 Dashboard
  • Select Launch Instances Into Your Virtual Private Cloud
  • Modify the instance tenancy from Default to Dedicated in the Request Instances Wizard
  • Start using your instance with the knowledge it will not share hardware with instances launched by other customers

Dedicated Instances certainly does help in building a case for FDA compliance and step in a RIGHT direction.


Cloud Infographic: Big Data Opportunities

Big Data Opportunities
Cloud Infographic: Big Data Opportunities
Cloud Infographic: Big Data Opportunities

Infographic Source: Elexio

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What is the definition of Size of a Slice in Cloud Computing?

What is the definition of “Size of a Slice” in Cloud Computing?

It is certainly not:

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Slice of a Pizza
Slice of a Pizza
What is Size of a Slice in Cloud Computing
What is Size of a Slice in Cloud Computing

Source: CloudU

what is cloud computing Definition – with real world examples

Definition of Cloud Computing with Real World Example

The curious question is: what is Cloud computing Definition with real world example? It is a disruptive and innovative model for enabling convenient, on-demand, and flexible access to a shared pool of computing resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services which are configurable and can be quickly provisioned and de-provisioned with minimal or no management effort or service provider interaction.

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This model is composed of three service models, four deployment models, and five essential characteristics as per NIST.

On-demand self-service: Use credit card and use resources  such as compute, storage, database from cloud environment without any interaction with service providers or any delay due to workflows and permissions. It takes less than a MINUTE! And believe me, you are not day dreaming…It is a reality.

Go to and verify yourself

  • Real world example: SMS activation:
  • Prerequisite: Enough balance in the Mobile (Map it with Credit Card in Cloud environment )
  • Request Service by calling on *110# (Airtel) (Map it with in Cloud environment )
  • And you can easily use the services required

Balance/Usage: with *123*3# you know the available amount of SMS (In case of Cloud, All Cloud Service Provider gives Dashboard/ Management Console/ Cost Control Dashboard which gives you  information regarding your resource usage, cost and many more things.

Cloud Computing Billing (Source: Google)
Cloud Computing Billing (Source: Google)

Broad network access: Computing resources such as compute and storage capacity are available over network / on internet or intranet and they can be accessed via various devices such as smartphones, iPads, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations.

Real world example: Videos on Mobile Web – Applications, wallpapers and ringtones from Internet are used


The more suitable example can be the way we watch videos over internet; similarly we can use various resources on Cloud as well…

Youtube on Smartphone
Youtube on Smartphone

Resource pooling: A resource pool is a set of resource which is homogeneous with respect to some activity, action or context. Cloud Service provider create a pool of all computing resources to serve multiple consumers in a multi-tenant environment, where different physical and virtual resources are dynamically assigned and re-assigned according to demand.

Resource Pooling (Source - VMware)
Resource Pooling (Source – VMware)

Real world example: In software engineering, a connection pool is considered as a cache of database connections so that the connections can be reused in case of future requests to the database are required.

Purpose: To enhance performance of executing database commands

In case of cloud environment, resources are pooled together and its capacities are used in unified manner to enhance the performance and customer satisfaction.

Rapid elasticity: Application can expand on demand, across all its tiers  such as presentation layer, database layer,application layer – MVC).  It also implies that application components can grow independently from each other. So if you require more storage for database, you should be able to grow that tier without affecting the availabilityof that application, reconfiguration, or changing the other tiers.

Real world example: In physics, elasticity or stretchiness is the physical property of a material that returns to its original shape after the stress e.g. external forces (Consider Peak Hours as external forces in cloud environment)


Cloud Computing - Elasticity
Cloud Computing – Elasticity

Measured service: Cloud environment automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering or chargeback capacity. The basic value proposition of cloud computing is its utility based price model where you pay for what you use. Resource usage in cloud environment can be monitored, controlled, and notified via alerts, dashboards. It is a very basic feature which is essential in Cloud environment

Real world example: Consumers pay for electricity as they have used it


Cloud Computing - Measured Service
Cloud Computing – Measured Service

It’s not a Technology…It’s an innovation…Idea….