Announcing CloudBridge – making it even easier to do bioinformatics in the cloud


Australian bioinformaticians based at the VLSCI continue to contribute significant developments for the life sciences CloudBridgecomputing community around the world, funded by agencies in Australia and the US.

Just released this month is version one of CloudBridge, a Python library providing a simple layer of abstraction over different cloud providers, reducing or eliminating the need to write conditional code for each cloud. Developers include Nuwan Goonasekera and Andrew Lonie (VLSCI) with James Taylor and Enis Afgan (Johns Hopkins University, US), making CloudBridge a joint effort between the Galaxy and the Australian-made Genomics Virtual Laboratory (GVL) Projects. 

“The more we can remove the barriers to the tools of bioinformatics for all users across a range of platforms, the more time we can devote to life sciences data rather than complex programming tasks,“ says Assoc Prof Andrew Lonie, Director, VLSCI & the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource. 

CloudBridge will now be part of the core cloud infrastructure for Galaxy on the Cloud and the GVL, which also uses Galaxy. Galaxy is an open source, web-based platform for data intensive biomedical research and is one of the major, mature platforms used by the bioinformatics community. CloudBridge is now being actively integrated into various components such as CloudLaunch and in future, CloudMan, which are already being used by the Galaxy community. 

CloudBridge is also generally applicable to other groups wishing to run cloud-independent applications and there is already support for Amazon and OpenStack clouds. Community feedback and contributions back into the project are welcome. Already Google engineers are investigating how the CloudBridge library may be used to help get Galaxy running on Google’s Compute Engine and it is hoped this will be supported in the next release.

For source code, design goals and a contributor’s guide, go to:

For detailed usage and development documents, go to:

This work was supported by grants from Nectar and ANDS in Australia and the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health in the US.