BitTorious: Global Controlled Genomics Data Publication, Research, and Archiving Via BitTorrent Extensions
Background: Centralized silos of genomic data are architecturally easier to initially design, develop and deploy than distributed models. However, as interoperability pains in EHR/EMR, HIE and other collaboration-centric life sciences domains have taught us, the core challenge of networking genomics systems is not in the construction of individual silos, but the interoperability of those deployments in a manner embracing the heterogeneous needs, terms and infrastructure of collaborating parties. This article demonstrates the adaptation of BitTorrent to private collaboration networks in an authenticated, authorized and encrypted manner while retaining the same characteristics of standard BitTorrent.
Results: The BitTorious portal was sucessfully used to manage many concurrent domestic Bittorrent clients across the United States: exchanging genomics data payloads in excess of 500GiB using the uTorrent client software on Linux, OSX and Windows platforms. Individual nodes were sporadically interrupted to verify the resilience of the system to outages of a single client node as well as recovery of nodes resuming operation on intermittent Internet connections.
Conclusions: The authorization-based extension of Bittorrent and accompanying BitTorious reference tracker and user management web portal provide a free, standards-based, general purpose and extensible data distribution system for large ‘omics collaborations.