Pfizer is a global provider of health services. They are involved in research and analysis about medicines at every stage of life. As research is involved, they are doing so much to set standards to the quality, discovery and manufacturing of medicines for humans and animals. Their purpose is great and they are using technology for maintaining their research data and performing analytical monitoring on that research data.
They are involved at high level data analysis, modeling, and large scale research projects. This is the reason that they are using high performance computing software and systems for wide research and development. They are striving their best for deep understanding of diseases and efficient and safe manufacturing of affective drugs. For this purpose, Pfizer was confronted with the challenge of computation needs which were going up and down based on the traffic of the data. So, it was difficult to predict the loads of traffic in the system. This was really a great challenge to bring to cater all the needs at real time and to cut cost when they were not needed.
Pfizer wanted to figure out how they can do this and achieve their purpose. They analyzed many solutions and VPC was the best fit. So they decided to use Amazon Web Services for additional capabilities they needed to cater the workloads. Dr.Michael Miller, Head of HPC for R&D at Pfizer describes “The Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) was a unique option that offered an additional level of security and an ability to integrate with other aspects of our infrastructure.”
There were many instances of VPC which Pfizer used to set the work they had to do. They implemented a job scheduler in their environment which enabled them to start and stop the instances as and when needed. This is the reason that they adjusted their workloads and traffic seamlessly and they had to pay only when they used the services. All the Pfizer’s solution is built on C language and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) command line tools. They say, “We are currently migrating this solution over to a commercial API that will enable additional provisioning and usage tracking capabilities.”
There were a lot of benefits they gained from the solution they deployed on top of AWS. This not only helped them grow technically, but also saved a lot of money. This money can be spent somewhere else to improve the services of the company. “Pfizer did not have to invest in additional hardware and software, which is only used during peak loads; that savings allowed for investments in other WRD activities.” Technically, the solution was so strong that management and development considered it as the best fit for the environment. Dr.Miller explains, “It is not a replacement for, but rather an addition to our capabilities for HPC WRD activities, providing a unique augmentation to our computing capabilities. As far as the scalability and security is needed, company is very much happy with that with the solution because their main technical overhead is gone and now they are able to manage the work with less staff and with much more efficiency. “AWS enables Pfizer’s WRD to explore specific difficult or deep scientific questions in a timely, scalable manner and helps Pfizer make better decisions more quickly.”
They have no problem in thinking about expanding because they know they will be able to scale according to the needs, and that they will not lose their money. As collaborations of both partners has resulted in success and the customer is satisfied, they are thinking in increasing their collaboration among themselves and are advancing to have collaboration in terms of Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for storing reference data to expand the type of computational problems they can address.