Virtualization: from the Cloud to the Kidneys

human body scanWe talk a lot about cloud disaster recovery around here. Advancements in technology today pretty much dictate that any disaster recovery solution worth its salt will have a cloud component, and that “cloud” is really just a virtualization of your server or computer environment in a datacenter.

Server sites replicated in the cloud are essential to achieving effective RPO and RTO, and to maintain business continuity. But while replicating your server environment to the cloud is now commonplace for businesses, the virtualization concept is becoming ever more personal. So personal in fact, you may soon be replicating your internal body organs both virtually and IRL to maintain your physical health.

The technology to create a virtual human body exists and is a valuable teaching tool at NYU and other major universities and labs. Called the BioDigital Human, and created by the NYU School of Medicine alongside a company called BioDigital Systems, the BIoDigital Human is a 3D replication of human anatomy, major organs, and biological systems. It’s both interactive and web-based, allowing students and scientists to have a realistic representation of any human being.

The BioDigital Human illustrates the muscular system, the nervous system, digestive and cardiovascular systems, in addition to health conditions such as cancer. The technology allows for zooming in and out, different angle views of every internal body area, and can even layer specific functions or filter others out — much like you can view your own cloud based replicated network.

Your GDV dashboard allows you to see all of your data, any updates or changes to your software, and the real time storage requirements for your entire system or even filtered to specific areas. To implement this view into your own replicated environment, you initially created a duplicate of your own network system by replicating it into the cloud, just like the BioDigital Human program.

While the BioDigital Human is useful today, other mind-blowing technology is actually “bioprinting” 3-D organs. Building on the virtualization concept, university labs and private companies are already using what’s called “regenerative medicine” to build tiny pieces of human organs that are duplicates of their originals, and have even implanted these into human patients. Kind of like when you do failover to your network’s restore points, you’re using the regenerative “organs” that you created in the cloud.

To date, skin, bladders and tracheas have been successful endeavors, albeit a much slower process than your disaster recovery solution. Just as you recreated your network system in the cloud with your existing software, technology today utilizes stem cells taken from a patient’s fat or bone marrow to regenerate new tissue and eventually organs. Imagine the possibilities when a dying patient in need of a new organ is given their exact match perfect organ made from their own cells, essentially creating a virtualized replacement part.

Cutting edge 3D printing would speed up the development process for these human parts and add a higher level of precision, as well as scale the manufacturing process for widespread adaptation. This “printed” organ technology could one day eliminate the stress and uncertainty of organ transplant lists altogether. Bioprinting scientists hope that their advancements in virtualization can one day aid in the effective testing of drugs to treat diseases such as cancer. We think that’s the ultimate disaster recovery solution.