In the video below, David Heckerman, Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Research, talks about the work he and his team conducted using data from the genome-wide association study (GWAS). Their goal is to find associations between genetics, disease and responsiveness to drugs.

As David explains, “With Windows Azure, we have the infrastructure to do the computations that would normally take years in just a few hours.” His team conducted a 27,000-core run on Windows Azure to crunch data from this study. With the nodes busy for 72 hours, 1 million tasks were consumed—the equivalent of approximately 1.9 million compute hours. If the same computation had been run on an 8-core system, it would have taken 25 years to complete.

Here are links to the original blog post and case study for a more in-depth description of the project.