October 30, 2015

Microsoft and TCG Partner to Expand Cloud-Based Services for Research

Partnership to accelerate research by easing access and lowering costs for data and compute resources

Microsoft Azure has partnered with TCG to deliver solutions on the Azure cloud computing platform to a broader range of federal clients. Through Azure, TCG has access to new compute, data storage, and analysis capabilities, providing researchers using TCG services such as the Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC) with a greater variety of cloud resources.  TCG continues to level the playing field for research scientists worldwide by making federally funded research data easily accessible and giving researchers easy, inexpensive access to high-powered compute resources.

Nina Preuss, TCG’s Health Programs Manager explains, “The global neuroimaging research community has been using TCG’s NITRC big data storage and cloud compute service on Microsoft VMDepot and Azure, and we will be rolling the NITRC Compute Environment out to Microsoft Marketplace as well. Microsoft’s partnership with TCG allows both companies to better support health and research agencies and researchers across the world.”

Azure is currently utilized by neuroimaging researchers using the thousands of brain images shared publicly on the NITRC Image Repository. These datasets have been downloaded over 1.3 million times for research on schizophrenia, ADHD, Parkinson’s, and more. With commercial or GovCloud instances of Azure, researchers can store data in commercial storage options for efficient processing and accessibility, which also enables the reproduction and elaboration of existing research to create new hypotheses and validate others’ research to corroborate or dispute findings.

Vani Mandava, Microsoft for Research grants Program Manager notes, “Back in February 2014, TCG was one of the first Azure for Research awardees. They have successfully demonstrated the power of the cloud to scale their innovation by leveraging the research grant and taking it to the next step by deploying the NITRC-CE VM on the Azure marketplace for the benefit of the entire neuroscience community. ”

With this partnership, TCG will be powered to create and deliver solutions and applications that more deeply integrate the Microsoft Azure platform, as well as offer managed IT administration and support which provides significant value beyond the infrastructure itself to its end users.

“Being one of the first Microsoft MSPs is another tool in our arsenal to offer FedRAMP’d commercial cloud provider infrastructure for both public and Govcloud type storage and compute services” TCG’s President, Dan Turner, said.

TCG plans to begin using Azure’s capabilities immediately.