Posted by: John H. Jones | June 23, 2011

Some of the most popular discussions in the LIMS Forum

Posted by: John H. Jones

The LIMSforum is a user discussion group located on Linkedin.  The group has nearly 25,000 members, making it the largest and most popular user’s group devoted to all topics in LIMS and Laboratory Informatics.  If you are not already a member you can join it at  The group is open to everyone and the members are very helpful in answering questions and holding useful discussions.

Here is a list of some of the most popular and useful discussions:


There are tons of other great discussions going on in the group and there are a lot of job postings as well under the jobs tab.  The group is actively monitored and managed so that only valid, on-topic discussions take place in the discussion area while promotional postings are relegated to the “Promotions menu”.  This active, on-topic, non-commercial discussion group is what has made LIMSforum the largest and most popular discussion group within 2 years of it’s inception.

The LIMSforum was created on June 28, 2009 and as of the writing of this blog posting, it has 24,598 members and we are growing at about 1,500 new members per month.  Also there are a number of subgroups that are focused on things like Cloud Computing, Chromatography, Spectroscopy, Social Media, Healthcare, Life Sciences and more…

Be sure to check out all of these discussions and subgroups and feel free to post your own questions and invite others you know to join in.


Well, I guess history repeats itself.  It is amazing how people never learn from the past.  The standard excuse is: “it’s different this time”.  So here we go again with euphoria over dotcom junk.  Let’s look at some interesting facts.

The Linkedin IPO debuted with a reported market cap of $8.9 billion.  Read the article in USA Today.  Linkedin has both real and fictitious members that total just over 100 million accounts.  The only value that Linkedin has is their membership.  If there are no members, then there is no value.  No member, no advertisers, no way to make any money.  So I think we can all agree that the value of Linkedin comes from its number of members.

So this means that each member is worth $8.9B / 0.1B members = $89/member.  Here are some more interesting facts:  Linkedin made $15.4M in profits on $243.1M in revenues in 2010.  It will take 577 years of those sorts of profits to get your money back. Wow, what a great deal, and to top it off they plan on losing money this year, brilliant, I guess they plan to make it up on volume :-).

Now that I have made such a great pitch for Linkedin as an investment, would anyone like to buy my groups on Linkedin?  Remember it is all about membership accounts.  My LIMSforum group has 23,000 members and I don’t even make any money or lose any money.  So far I am doing better than Linkedin plans to do in 2011.  Using Linkedin valuations, the value of my group today is roughly 23,000 members x $89 per member = $2.047 Million.  Do I have any takers out there???  I take PayPal.  Nope, I think I hear crickets.

Posted by: John H. Jones, President of the Laboratory Informatics Institute & LabLynx, Inc.

Recently there has been a very active discussion on the LIMSforum concerning the potential need for a term or acronym that describes a comprehensive, functional Laboratory Informatics System that manages all aspects of Laboratory Information.  There is a growing trend in the LIMS industry to have a comprehensive, full featured LIMS that provides for traditional LIMS functionality as well as functionality for Electronic Laboratory Notebooks, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or Scientific Data Management System (SDMS) along with a host of other functionality such as ERP/accounting integration, HR integration, CDS (Chromatography Data Systems), Chemical Inventory, Batch Record Management, analyst workflow management and the list goes on and on.

I have created a poll based upon the recent lengthy discussions entitled: “Do we need a new term to describe systems that manage Laboratory Information?”

Please take a moment to give your opinion as to what term works best if any:

Atlanta, GA – April 4, 2011 – The Laboratory Informatics Institute, Inc. has established an on-line, Open Access University for Laboratory, Scientific and Health Informatics. 

limsuniversity The Laboratory Informatics Institute is pleased to provide the site as a free and open access learning and teaching resource for all stakeholders in the laboratory, scientific and health informatics industries.

The site has been created with Moodle, one of the most popular open source Learning Management Systems.  Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.

This site has been established so that informatics professionals, vendors and users can offer courses and attend courses related to LIMS and other Laboratory, Scientific & Health Informatics areas.  Joining is easy and freeClick here to Join Now!

This site currently has a limited number of courses but new courses will be added constantly by the Laboratory Informatics Institute and by Laboratory Informatics vendors that provide open access courses on their software products.

Telephone and email support is provided by volunteers of the Laboratory Informatics Institute, Inc.  Should support be required or you need help in creating or taking any courses, please contact Mr. Alan Vaughan at 770-859-1992 x114 or email at

About the Laboratory Informatics Institute, Inc.

The Laboratory Informatics Institute was established on June 19, 2006. This organization has been created as a laboratory industry trade association for the education, standardization and promotion of the functional and professional areas of Laboratory Informatics.

The goal of the Institute is to offer an open Membership program to all individuals and organizations, which service or are employed within the laboratory industry. Our mission is to help all laboratories become more efficient and automated through the adoption of Laboratory Informatics applications and systems. By establishing an open, trade association, the members of the Institute will help shape and direct the future Laboratory Informatics standards. Our members will help educate and inform other members and the Institute will provide tools and resources to help all laboratories adopt a level of Laboratory Informatics that is right for them.

The Laboratory Informatics Institute was established by John H. Jones who is the acting managing director and president of the Institute and is also president of LabLynx, Inc., an Atlanta based laboratory informatics software company.  To become a member of the Laboratory Informatics Institute, visit

Posted by: John H. Jones | February 12, 2011

DIY Cloud-in-a-Box, Part 2

by: John H. Jones, President – LabLynx, Inc.

In my last blog posting, DIY Cloud-in-a- Box, Part 1, I introduced you to the concept of the Private Cloud and the series of articles that will chronical my journey towards the development of a private cloud that can be installed within your own organization or can be hosted in an external datacenter.  Now we continue on with Part 2.

mobiuscloudlogoIn this episode I promised to provide an outline to the Quality Manual that would be used to govern the design of the Cloud-in-a-Box and to provide it with a name and a logo.  Let’s get the fun simple stuff out of the way.  The name:  So why that name?  Well, most of you are probably familiar with the Mobius Strip.  It is a sort of 3D symbol for Infinity.  The thinking is that Cloud Computing should be a virtually infinite computing resource.  Of course we all know that in this mortal world nothing is really infinite for each of us as individuals.  However lets skip this philosophy and move on. 

The Cloud Computing resource should allow for virtually limitless computing, storage, networking and applications.  So this means that the fundamental design of the MobiusCloud should be modular without limits to the addition of modules.  Modules can be seen as additional computing resources or storage or IP addresses or bandwidth or applications.  The design should be a network design much like the Internet itself so that a failing node in the network does not bring the cloud down and thus essentially provide infinite uptime.  There, that covers why this is called  So now we need a slogan to go with the name.  Going with the theme of infinity, I came up with:  “cloud computing without limits”  Oh, one other thing, was about the only descent domain name I could get.

Outline for MobiusCloud Quality Manual

Now that we have a name (MobiusCloud) for this Cloud-in-a-Box so that we can all discuss things by using a name and we now have an avatar (logo) for it, we all can have a picture in our mind as we move forward.  Keep this in mind for most anything you do.  If you are going to create something, start by figuring out what you want to call it and how you want it represented.  Further, in this Internet world, you had better find a domain name at the same time or you will find it hard to get your product launched.

The next step is to develop an outline for the MobiusCloud Quality Manual.  I feel this is the starting point for this new product/web service because without quality built into the very core of this product, cloud computing will be a joke at best and a disaster at worst.  If you are going to provide Cloud Computing services and products you had better make them “Utility Grade”.  In my mind, “Utility Grade” is just a notch below “Military Grade”.  Military Grade being the top of the line means that what you have can withstand the rigors of war and battle.  Well, I do not expect bombs to be thrown at MobiusCloud so I expect it to be up the level of Utility Grade.  Utility Grade is a level of quality like a power or telecommunications utility company (cable companies excluded) and the level that is below Utility Grade would be Enterprise Grade the next level down is Commercial Grade and the lowest level is Consumer Grade (cable companies fit here nicely).  The differences in these grades and definitions can vary wildly but I feel that the Utility Grade represents the practical best assuming no war.

Here is the outline to the first draft of the Quality Manual (QM) for MobiusCloud:

  • Develop MobiusCloud Quality Manual with Design / Installation / Operation / Maintenance Documents
    • Functional Requirements
      • Zero Downtime
      • Zero Data Loss
      • Zero Malware/Spyware/Viruses
      • Zero Network & Systems Security Breaches
      • Zero Physical Security Breaches
      • Zero Overallocation of hosting resources
      • Scalability without practical limits
        • Storage
        • Computing
        • Networking / Bandwidth
        • Power
      • Continuous Quality Improvement while reducing operations costs
      • Diversified product & service offerings
      • Compliance with Regulatory Requirements
        • HIPAA
        • CLIA
        • 21CFR part 11
        • SOX
        • HITECH
        • CAP
    • Logical Design
      • Network & Power Equipment
        • Wide Area Network (WAN) Switches
        • Local Area Network (LAN) Switches
        • Storage Area Network (SAN) Switches
        • High Availability Network (HAN) Switches
        • VoIP Area network (VAN) Switches
        • Power Distribution Units (PDU)
      • Firewall Servers
      • Storage Servers
      • Windows & Linux Application Servers
        • MobiusCloud Management Servers
          • Network Operations Center (NOC)
          • Cloud Administrator Control Panel
          • User Control Panel
          • Customer/User Portal
        • Application Servers
          • Customer Private Clouds
          • Bare Metal VMs
          • Application VMs
          • Shared Web Hosting Servers
          • VoIP Hosting Servers
    • Physical Design
      • Facilities
      • Network & Power Equipment
      • Firewalls
      • Storage
      • Computing Nodes
    • Installation, Operation & Maintenance Instructions for
      • Facilities
      • Network & Power Equipment
      • Firewalls / Antivirus / Antispam / Antispyware
      • Storage
      • Computing Nodes
      • Management Systems
        • NOC
        • Cloud Administrator Control Panel
        • User Control Panel
        • Customer / User Portal
    • Standard Operating Procedures
      • Facilities
      • Network Security
      • Data Security
      • Hardware Maintenance
      • Software Maintenance
      • Backups & Disaster Recovery
      • Auditing, Testing & Compliance Validation
      • Provisioning & Termination
        • Accounts
        • Resources
      • Change Control


    This is the first draft of the QM so I would like to hear any suggestions on how to improve the QM and most importantly to make sure that everything is included to ensure quality.

    At this point we are currently running experiments with a number of cloud technologies and hypervisor systems. I am not ready to say what Part 3 of this series will be until we complete some more experiments.  I am hoping that we start to get down to the good stuff (hardware and software installations and testing).  I must say that writing QM’s is not what I want to do.  In fact, I won’t do it.  I will have someone else do it while I spend time in the IT lab with these experiments.  That is much more fun and frankly, if we do not get it right on the technical front the QM won’t be worth the paper it is written on.

    Stay tuned for episode 3 in this continuing saga of the DIY, Cloud-in-a-Box.

  • The DIY, Cloud-in-a-Box Series:

    DIY, Cloud-in-a-Box, Part 1

    DIY, Cloud-in-a-Box, Part 2

    « Newer Posts - Older Posts »