Here is a short list of resources and material I put together as starting points for R and Cloud Computing It’s a bit messy but overall should serve quite comprehensively.
Cloud computing is a commonly used expression to imply a generational change in computing from desktop-servers to remote and massive computing connections,shared computers, enabled by high bandwidth across the internet.
As per the National Institute of Standards and Technology Definition,
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
The paper “Rweb: Web-based Statistical Analysis”, providing a detailed explanation of the different versions of Rweb and an overview of how Rweb works, was published in the Journal of Statistical Software (http://www.jstatsoft.org/v04/i01/).
Rcgi is a CGI WWW interface to R by MJ Ray. It had the ability to use “embedded code”: you could mix user input and code, allowing the HTMLauthor to do anything from load in data sets to enter most of the commands for users without writing CGI scripts. Graphical output was possible in PostScript or GIF formats and the executed code was presented to the user for revision. However, it is not clear if the project is still active.
Currently, a modified version of Rcgi by Mai Zhou (actually, two versions: one with (bitmap) graphics and one without) as well as the original code are available from http://www.ms.uky.edu/~statweb/.
David Firth has written CGIwithR, an R add-on package available from CRAN. It provides some simple extensions to R to facilitate running R scripts through the CGI interface to a web server, and allows submission of data using both GET and POST methods. It is easily installed using Apache under Linux and in principle should run on any platform that supports R and a web server provided that the installer has the necessary security permissions. David’s paper “CGIwithR: Facilities for Processing Web Forms Using R” was published in the Journal of Statistical Software (http://www.jstatsoft.org/v08/i10/). The package is now maintained by Duncan Temple Lang and has a web page athttp://www.omegahat.org/CGIwithR/.
Jeff Horner is working on the R/Apache Integration Project which embeds the R interpreter inside Apache 2 (and beyond). A tutorial and presentation are available from the project web page at http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/RApacheProject.
Rserve is a project actively developed by Simon Urbanek. It implements a TCP/IP server which allows other programs to use facilities of R. Clients are available from the web site for Java and C++ (and could be written for other languages that support TCP/IP sockets).
OpenStatServer is being developed by a team lead by Greg Warnes; it aims “to provide clean access to computational modules defined in a variety of computational environments (R, SAS, Matlab, etc) via a single well-defined client interface” and to turn computational services into web services.
Two projects use PHP to provide a web interface to R. R_PHP_Online by Steve Chen (though it is unclear if this project is still active) is somewhat similar to the above Rcgi and Rweb. R-php is actively developed by Alfredo Pontillo and Angelo Mineo and provides both a web interface to R and a set of pre-specified analyses that need no R code input.
webbioc is “an integrated web interface for doing microarray analysis using several of the Bioconductor packages” and is designed to be installed at local sites as a shared computing resource.
Rwui is a web application to create user-friendly web interfaces for R scripts. All code for the web interface is created automatically. There is no need for the user to do any extra scripting or learn any new scripting techniques. Rwui can also be found at http://rwui.cryst.bbk.ac.uk.
Finally, the R.rsp package by Henrik Bengtsson introduces “R Server Pages”. Analogous to Java Server Pages, an R server page is typically HTMLwith embedded R code that gets evaluated when the page is requested. The package includes an internal cross-platform HTTP server implemented in Tcl, so provides a good framework for including web-based user interfaces in packages. The approach is similar to the use of the brew package withRapache with the advantage of cross-platform support and easy installation.
Remote access to R/Bioconductor on EBI’s 64-bit Linux Cluster
Start the workbench by downloading the package for your operating system (Macintosh or Windows), or via Java Web Start, and you will get access to an instance of R running on one of EBI’s powerful machines. You can install additional packages, upload your own data, work with graphics and collaborate with colleagues, all as if you are running R locally, but unlimited by your machine’s memory, processor or data storage capacity.
Most up-to-date R version built for multicore CPUs
Access to all Bioconductor packages
Access to our computing infrastructure
Fast access to data stored in EBI’s repositories (e.g., public microarray data in ArrayExpress)
Amazon’s EC2 is a type of cloud that provides on demand computing infrastructures called an Amazon Machine Images or AMIs. In general, these types of cloud provide several benefits:
Simple and convenient to use. An AMI contains your applications, libraries, data and all associated configuration settings. You simply access it. You don’t need to configure it. This applies not only to applications like R, but also can include any third-party data that you require.
On-demand availability. AMIs are available over the Internet whenever you need them. You can configure the AMIs yourself without involving the service provider. You don’t need to order any hardware and set it up.
Elastic access. With elastic access, you can rapidly provision and access the additional resources you need. Again, no human intervention from the service provider is required. This type of elastic capacity can be used to handle surge requirements when you might need many machines for a short time in order to complete a computation.
Pay per use. The cost of 1 AMI for 100 hours and 100 AMI for 1 hour is the same. With pay per use pricing, which is sometimes called utility pricing, you simply pay for the resources that you use.
#This example requires you had previously created a bucket named data_language on your Google Storage and you had uploaded a CSV file named language_id.txt (your data) into this bucket – see for details
Elastic-R is a new portal built using the Biocep-R platform. It enables statisticians, computational scientists, financial analysts, educators and students to use cloud resources seamlessly; to work with R engines and use their full capabilities from within simple browsers; to collaborate, share and reuse functions, algorithms, user interfaces, R sessions, servers; and to perform elastic distributed computing with any number of virtual machines to solve computationally intensive problems.
Also see Karim Chine’s http://biocep-distrib.r-forge.r-project.org/
R for Salesforce.com
At the point of writing this, there seem to be zero R based apps on Salesforce.com This could be a big opportunity for developers as both Apex and R have similar structures Developers could write free code in R and charge for their translated version in Apex on Salesforce.com
Personal Note-Mentioning SAS in an email to a R list is a big no-no in terms of getting a response and love. Same for being careless about which R help list to email (like R devel or R packages or R help)
To help new AWS customers get started in the cloud, AWS is introducing a new free usage tier. Beginning November 1, new AWScustomers will be able to run a free Amazon EC2 Micro Instance for a year, while also leveraging a new free usage tier for Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWSdata transfer. AWS’s free usage tier can be used for anything you want to run in the cloud: launch new applications, test existing applications in the cloud, or simply gain hands-on experience with AWS.
Below are the highlights of AWS’s new free usage tiers. All are available for one year (except Amazon SimpleDB, SQS, and SNS which are free indefinitely):
AWS’s free usage tier startsNovember 1, 2010. A valid creditcard is required to sign up.
See offer terms.
AWS Free Usage Tier (Per Month):
750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) – enough hours to run continuously each month*
In addition to these services, the AWS Management Console is available at no charge to help you build and manage your application on AWS.
* These free tiers are only available to new AWS customers and are available for 12 months following your AWSsign-up date. When your free usage expires or if your application use exceeds the free usage tiers, you simply pay standard, pay-as-you-go service rates (see each service page for full pricing details). Restrictions apply; see offer terms for more details.
** These free tiers do not expire after 12 months and are available to both existing and new AWS customers indefinitely.
The new AWS free usage tier applies to participating services across all AWS regions: US – N. Virginia, US – N. California, EU – Ireland, and APAC – Singapore. Your free usage is calculated each month across all regions and automatically applied to your bill – free usage does not accumulate.
3)Under Account Settings -Click on Download Information
Facebook creates a ZIP file for downloading your information- and sends you an email when the info is ready.
Why should you download your Facebook Info-
1) As a local backup of your profile
2) To move to Orkut – or better to share Photos on Picassa or Flickr to your non Facebook friends. Note FB does have a unique URL under each Photo that you can copy and paste and share, but its not really convenient besides being huge and not a small URL at all.
3) In case you want to delete your Facebook account but dont want to lose your memories and friends.
Nice step from FB- they are taking user privacy and empowerment more seriously and at 500 Million users can afford to be a bit more generous.
Here is the brand new release from Jaspersoft at a groovy price of 9000$. Somebody stop these guys!
It’s a great company to watch for buyouts as well- given their expertise in REPORTING and clientele- especially for anyone looking to im prove thier standing in both open source world and reporting software branding.
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1) We are back at Decisionstats.com and Decisionstats.wordpress.com will point to that as well. The SEO effects would be interesting and so would be the Instant Pagerank or LinkRank or whatever Coffee/Percolator they use in Cali to index the site.
2) AsterData is no longer a sponsor- but Predictive Analytics Conference is. Welcome PAWS! I have been a blog partner to PAWS ever since it began- and it’s a great marketing fit. Expect to see a lot of exclusive content and interviews from great speakers at PAWS.
3) The Feedblitz newsletter (now at 404 subscribers) is now a weekly subscription to send one big big email rather than lots of email through the week- this is because my blogging frequency is moving up as I collect material for a new book on business analytics that I would probably release in 2011 (if all goes well, touchwood). Linkedin group would be getting a weekly update announcement. If you are connected to Decisionstats on Analyticbridge _ I would soon try to find a way to update the whole post automatically using RSS and Ning.com . or not. Depends.
4) R continues to be a bigger focus. So will SPSS and maybe JMP. Newer softwares or older softwares that change more rapidly would get more coverage. Generally a particular software is covered if it has newer features, or an interesting techie conference, or it gets sued.
5) I will occasionally write a poem or post a video once a week randomly to prove geeks and nerds and analysts can have fun (much more fun actually dont we)
Thanks for reading this. Sept 2010 was the best ever for Decisionstats.com – we crossed 15,000 + visitors and thanks for that again! I promise to bore you less and less as we grow old together on the blog 😉