Cloud Computing With Techila and Windows Azure Opens up new Possibilities for Cancer Research

By Techila Technologies Ltd, PRNE
Monday, June 13, 2011

TAMPERE, Finland, June 14, 2011 -

The greatest challenge in cancer research is to identify
genes that can predict the progress of the disease.
number of genes and gene combinations is vast, so powerful
computing tools are required to achieve this.
Assisted by
Techila Technologies Ltd (
), a Finnish company specialising in autonomic high-performance and
technical computing, a research team at the
of Helsinki utilized the huge computing capacity
of the Windows Azure cloud computing service for the first
A computing task that usually requires some 15 years
can now be completed in less than five days.

In the treatment of breast cancer, it is of vital importance to
be able to predict the likelihood of the development of new
metastases. The prognosis for a breast cancer treatment in general
is good. ´However, metastases make breast cancer a fatal disease.
Cells from the primary tumour infiltrate other parts of the body,
forming metastases. The problem is that we are far from
understanding this process in sufficient details. We do not know
how and which cells become separated from the tumour, where they go
or how they act there,’ says Sampsa Hautaniemi, docent at
the University of Helsinki.

The research team has hundreds of breast cancer tumours at their
disposal. The aim is to determine who is most likely to develop
metastases by studying the activity of the genes and combining
research data.

According to Hautaniemi, computing already plays a significant
role in modern medical research because the data available to
researchers are getting more extensive all the time. ‘It certainly
makes the future seem brighter knowing that thanks to cloud
computing services, computational resources no longer restrict the
setting of research objectives. Earlier on we had to define our
research plans based on whether certain computations could be

Efficiency almost 100 per cent

According to Rainer Wehkamp, founder of Techila
Technologies Ltd, this was the first time the Windows Azure cloud
service was utilised on such a massive scale. ‘Our aim was to
demonstrate to the University of Helsinki that the technology
developed by Techila makes it easy to utilize massive computing
power from a cloud. There are also many potential applications
outside universities; this kind of computing power could be
utilised by e.g. insurance companies in their risk assessment
calculations. And as the systems are global in scale, the
possibilities are almost limitless.’

The computing was performed in a cloud using the Autonomic
Computing technology developed by Techila, and a total of 1,200
processor cores were involved in the operation. The Techila
technology was originally developed to utilise the computing power
available in table-top computers and servers in businesses and
universities, so the transition from a complex multiplatform
environment to a homogenous cloud environment presented no
problems. ‘Azure can be harnessed solely for computing purposes, so
its efficiency is extremely high, even as high as 99 per cent,’
says Wehkamp.

Microsoft is happy with the results of the pilot project.
‘Together, Techila’s Grid solution and Windows Azure create a
well-functioning and easy-to-use system. Cloud computing takes
projects involving high-performance computing to a totally new
level. Azure is a massively scalable computing platform service
with sufficient resources to complete even the most demanding
projects,’ promises solution sales manager Matti Antila of
Microsoft Finland.

Further information:

Full case-study: href="">

Techila+Azure integration: href="">

Windows Azure: href="">

Techila Technologies Ltd

Techila Technologies Ltd, founded in 2006, is a privately
held provider of autonomic high-performance and technical computing
solution based in
Tampere, Finland.
Techila enables to utilize the massive capacity of cloud
and also to harness the idle capacity of
existing computer resources resulting
in a solution with a superior usability, scalability and total cost
of ownership compared to other computing solutions. It is
seamlessly integrated to all major applications and platforms and
it requires minimal system management due to its autonomic


Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the world-wide leader in
software, services and solutions that help businesses,
organisations and people to utilise the possibilities of
information technology in new, innovative ways.
Finland, Microsoft employs 280 people, whose vision,
shared by more than 3,000 partners, is to help the customer become
more successful with the help of Microsoft solutions.

World-wide, Microsoft employs some 92,000 people in 102
Microsofts turnover in the
financial year of 2009 was 62.48 billion USD.

Techila Technologies Oy: Rainer Wehkamp, CEO, Tel. +358-40-960-5233, rainer.wehkamp at; Microsoft Oy: Matti Antila, Sales, Solution Sales Manager, Windows Azure, Tel. +358-50-499-9623, matti.antila at; University of Helsinki, Sampsa Hautaniemi, Docent, Tel. +358-50-336-4765, sampsa.hautaniemi at

will not be displayed