CloudERT – Cloud Experiments for Radiation Therapy
Period: 2011-09-01 – 2012-06-30 (12 months).
Funded by: Comisión Europea
VENUS-C (Virtual Multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud Infrastructures) is a project funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme drawing its strength from a joint co-operation between computing service providers and scientific user communities to develop, test and deploy a large, Cloud computing infrastructure for science and SMEs in Europe.
VENUS-C aims to develop, test and deploy an industry-quality, highly-scalable and flexible Cloud infrastructure to empower researchers through the easy deployment of end-user services. The VENUS-C platform is underpinned by Windows Azure, resources from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Sweden) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC, Spain), Microsoft European data centres and the data centre of the Engineering Group. Azure offers a multi-layer solution, including computing and storage power, a development environment and immediate services, together with a wide range of services that can be consumed from either on-premises environments or over the Internet. From an Open Source perspective, EMOTIVE and OpenNebula solutions are being implemented.
VENUS-C is co-funded by the GÉANT and e-Infrastructure Unit, DG Information Society and Media of the European Commission, as one of six European Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs). VENUS-C is committed to working in synergy with these initiatives, combining experiences in Grid infrastructures and Cloud computing to capitalise on EU investments. VENUS-C brings together 14 European partners:
– Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SPA (ENG)
– Barcelona*Supercomputing Centre (BSC-CNS)
– Centre for *Computational and Systems Biology
– Microsoft Innovation Center – Greece
– Microsoft Research
– National Research Council of Italy (Consorzio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR-ISTI)
– Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan, KTH)
– The European Chapter of the Open Grid Forum (OGF.eeig)
– The European Microsoft Innovation Center (EMIC)
– Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
– University of Newcastle
– University of the Aegean
VENUS-C user scenarios stem from seven partner affiliations developing applications for the Cloud across four thematic areas: Biomedicine, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Civil Protection and Emergencies, and Marine Biodiversity Data. VENUS-C has also provided seed funds for 15 pilots with applications spanning biology, bioinformatics, chemistry, earth sciences, maritime surveillance, mathematics, medicine and healthcare, physics and social media.
VENUS-C has provided seed funds for 15 Pilots to support the testing and deployment of our Cloud infrastructure. The pilots span applications for architecture, biology, bioinformatics, chemistry, earth sciences, healthcare, maritime surveillance, mathematics, physics and social media.
Cesga presented their eIMRT platform and was selected as one of these pilots, called CloudERT. The eIMRT platform consists of a suite of remote tools to help medical physicists in the definition of treatment plans and their verification using MC simulations.
Cloud technologies provide this computing power demanded by MC simulations through invocation of several virtual machines working as a computing cluster and sharing tasks. The virtual architecture is then applicable during the verification stage. Cloud technologies will allow reducing the initial investment, as the local infrastructure can only support the mean workload. Workload excess or unexpected peaks of activity can be addressed to external Cloud providers. This is beneficial in terms of flexibility, contracts are developed on pay as you go basis depending on the hospitals needs. It also permits execution of algorithms with greater degree of accuracy leading to improved quality and effectiveness of radiotherapy treatment plans
The eIMRT platform has been analysed as a Software as a Service, which should be able of scaling to thousands of users and service requests per day. Therefore, eIMRT benefits from Cloud infrastructure services (IaaS) to allow a service provision with a high quality. Also, transferring the computing back–end to Cloud allows supplying a single virtual cluster for each request.
Finally, the eIMRT platform has been tested in virtual clusters running Linux and Windows, using the Azure platform provided by Microsoftr.