What is the FireCloud Free Credits Program?
The FireCloud Free Credits Program is an opportunity for you to use FireCloud, the Broad's cloud-based analysis portal, for trying out the new GATK4 Best Practices pipelines at no cost to you. All the main GATK pipelines have been preconfigured into FireCloud workspaces according to our Best Practices, so it'll be just a matter of a few clicks to run any pipeline you like on the preloaded example datasets -- or, with a few more (simple) steps, to run them on your own data.
Our friends at Google Cloud Platform are generously footing the bill for this credits program. We at the Broad Institute are not getting any share of any revenue that may be generated by GCP as a result of this program. By that I mean that if you continue using Google Cloud for your work on your own dime after you have exhausted your credits, we will not get a cut of the money you pay to Google.
For us (the GATK team), the FireCloud portal and cloud-based platforms in general present an unparalleled opportunity to make our tools available in a format that is much easier to support, since it removes a lot of the complexity involved with dealing with lots of different local infrastructures. The more people use this kind of platform to run our pipelines, the easier it becomes for us to help ensure that the pipelines are running smoothly and correctly for everyone. We are very aware that to many of you, moving your work to the cloud is a big logistical and cultural shift, so we hope that this program will grease the wheels and make it easier for you to try the cloud (and GATK4 itself) on for size. If you find it doesn't suit you, you'll still be able to go back to the traditional method of downloading the software and deploying it on your own infrastructure.
There is no obligation to continue using FireCloud after your free credits expire, and you will be presented with options to save any work you got done during that time.
For sign-up information and FAQs, please see the FireCloud Free Credits Program documentation on the FireCloud website.
Bonus FAQ: Where can I learn how to use FireCloud?
The FireCloud User Guide also includes a Tutorials section, FAQs, and assorted documentation that should prove helpful to you as you get started with the platform. You can also ask questions and leave comments in our support forum, which is run by the same team as the GATK forum.