Taking HALO® to the Cloud with Indica Labs Cloud Services

Cloud computing has transformed the landscape of computing infrastructure. Many of the most popular websites and applications have embraced this technology and used it to leverage highly performant, available, and AI-enabled computing environments while simultaneously controlling costs and managing ever-changing demands. At Indica Labs, we enable you to choose the software deployment option that is best for your organization, which means our entire suite of HALO® digital pathology software can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises based on each customer’s needs and preferences. In this blog post we will discuss the basics of cloud computing, benefits and considerations of cloud vs. traditional deployments, and how our Cloud Services team can help you optimize your cloud deployment. 

Introduction to the Cloud

“The cloud” refers to a global network of remote servers that are accessed over the internet and used to store data, run applications, and deliver content to websites. Companies that provide cloud computing services house their servers in data centers that are designed for redundancy and high availability, and which are spread around the globe. This confers resilience to hardware malfunctions and even natural disasters, preserving users’ access to their programs and data.

Cloud Deployment Benefits and Considerations

Compared to using a local server or personal computer to host a program, cloud computing offers several major benefits.

    • Performance: Cloud deployment offers a highly performant and available environment that especially benefits remote staff. Cloud service providers possess and maintain computing resources that can handle the heaviest demands and offer access to the latest hardware for resource-intensive tasks, like training deep learning algorithms in HALO AI.
    • Flexibility: Scalability is a hallmark of cloud deployment, with projects able to be easily scaled up or down based on demand. This is particularly beneficial for projects with uncertain or shifting computing requirements, as it eliminates the need to predict and provision resources in advance. 
    • Ease of management: When leveraging a cloud environment, users no longer need to staff and maintain physical data centers including security personnel, fire suppression systems, HVAC, and backup power systems.
    • Potential cost savings: Cloud deployment eliminates the need for upfront costs and offers a pay-as-you-go model. Additionally, cloud providers leverage economies of scale, resulting in lower costs per computing unit, while resource scaling helps reduce expenses by winding down unused computing instances.

While cloud deployment offers significant benefits, there are several factors that should be considered when weighing a cloud deployment versus one that is on-premises. First, though lacking upfront costs and having features that help contain expenses, cloud computing can still get pricy for heavy users, with charges typically occurring per hour or second. Cloud deployment also requires operational knowledge and ongoing updates, which can be challenging for smaller organizations without dedicated staff. For groups that already possess on-site infrastructure it is especially important to evaluate the need for cloud deployment, comparing factors such as ongoing cost, scalability, and specific project requirements. 

Helping You Reach for the Clouds

Indica Labs Cloud Services helps organizations realize the benefits of cloud deployment by providing comprehensive management of our HALO software platforms in Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-hosted environments. Our team of AWS Certified Solution Architects assists organizations in deploying an optimized infrastructure that is correctly provisioned for requirements, offering performance, flexibility, scalability, and security. End users of our life sciences software have direct interaction with this infrastructure courtesy of our web-based instance management dashboard, which allows users to manage HALO clients, to start and stop instances as well as to connect to them on demand. Importantly, with a deployment through Cloud Services at Indica Labs, organizations maintain full ownership and control of their AWS account.

The web-based instance management dashboard offers users ready access to information about their deployment’s status and control over instances.

Working with our Cloud Services team also helps users avoid some of the common hurdles and pitfalls of deploying HALO on the cloud. Most prominently, Cloud Services acts as a dedicated support team, remaining accountable to your local IT while offloading the burden of cloud environment monitoring and support. Secondly, our team can configure the most efficient and performant architecture for your specific needs, so you can rest assured that you are not wasting precious resources where they are not needed. In addition, deployments can be launched in a fraction of the time usually required, courtesy of our extensive experience and custom scripts that automate numerous tasks. Together, these factors dramatically decrease the stress of cloud deployment on local IT resources, freeing them for other activities, while getting organizations’ HALO deployments up and running more quickly.

Planning Your Next Step

Cloud deployment can offer significant benefits, though organizations should consider factors like their need for scalability, current IT capabilities, and financial position to determine the best deployment for them. If you are looking to realize improved software performance, availability, and flexibility through cloud deployment, Indica Labs Cloud Services can help you get the most from your AWS-hosted HALO deployment.

To learn more about the options and benefits, email us at info@indicalab.com to explore a cloud-hosted deployment with an AWS Certified Solution Architect.

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