A new feature for Amazon’s (AMZN) EC2? The cloud computing community is abuzz today over Public Data Sets coming soon to Amazon’s cloud.
Here’s how it works: The human genome is about 3 GB in size, not counting annotations. Rather than have every scientist on the EC2 working with it upload (and pay for) their own copy, Amazon hosts the genome itself, which any EC2 customer can access. Other data sets Amazon will be making public: The U.S. Census, economic databases from the U.S. labour department, and 80 GB of conformers from the ChemInformatics toolkit, whatever that is (we got a C- in chemistry).
Makes a lot of sense to us. For very little cost, Amazon could be generating a lot of goodwill among scientists and academics, important customers in the utlity computing market. And if Amazon can make its own public data sets a common reference point for researchers, network effects will make academics prefer the EC2 to other clouds.
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