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Introduction to Broad FireCloud Powered by Terra: Securely Analyzing Cancer Datasets in the Cloud

FireCloud (Powered by Terra) is a data analysis platform that contains a system of workspace functionalities centered on data sharing and analysis. Researchers can use FireCloud to perform a variety of analyses through two main mechanisms: batch workflow execution and interactive analysis (including data visualization). Workflow execution is achieved through a workflow management system called Cromwell, which is designed to be highly portable, capable of connecting to multiple computing platforms, and horizontally scalable. Interactive analysis is achieved through Jupyter notebooks or RStudio, which can be associated with a range of configurable runtime environments and incorporate various kernels and packages to support exploratory analyses of arbitrary scale and complexity.

In this hands-on session, we will introduce FireCloud to all attendees as a part of the NCI Cloud Resources. The participants will learn how to access key data sets such as TCGA and CPTAC and bring this data (or their own data) into a secure FireCloud workspace. Participants will also learn how to configure and launch workflows from their workspace and perform interactive analysis with applications such as Jupyter Notebooks, RStudio, and more. This session will also cover how billing operates in FireCloud and how to securely share the personal FireCloud workspace with collaborators. 

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