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Three giants collaborate on cloud computing

Posted: 31 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:research? datacenter? computing? software?

HP, Intel Corp. and Yahoo Inc. have announced the creation of a global, multidata center, open source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education. This initiative is set to highlight collaboration among key personnel in the industry, academia and governments by getting rid of barriers toward rigid research in data-intensive, Internet-scale computing.

The cloud computing test bed of these three giants intends to provide a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment that seeks to encourage research on the software, datacenter management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing at a larger scale. This includes strengthening the support research groups of cloud applications and services.

Diverse connection
HP, Intel and Yahoo! have partnered with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany to create a dynamic research initiative. This includes the National Science Foundation as part of the list of reliable partners.

The test bed will initially consist of six "centers of excellence" at IDA facilities, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Steinbuch Centre for Computing of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, HP Labs, Intel Research and Yahoo. Each location will host a cloud computing infrastructure, largely based on HP hardware and Intel processors, and will have 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores capable of supporting the data-intensive research associated with cloud computing. The test bed locations are expected to be in full operation and accessible to the number of researchers worldwide through a selection process later this year.

Kick-off strategyThe test bed will seek Yahoo's technical leadership in open source projects by running Apache Hadoop, an open source, distributed computing project of the Apache Software Foundation and other open source, which distribute computing software such as Pig, the parallel programming language developed by Yahoo Research.

"The HP, Intel and Yahoo cloud computing test bed is extending our commitment to the global, collaborative research community, along with the advancement of new sciences in the Internet," said Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo Research. "This test bed will enable researchers to test applications at the Internet scale and provide them access to the underlying computing systems to advance their learning on how systems software and hardware function in a cloud environment," he added.

Specialized cloud services
Researchers at HP Labs will use the test bed to conduct advanced research in the areas of intelligent infrastructure and dynamic cloud services. HP Labs recently refocuses its strategy to help HP and its customers toward cloud computing, a driving force behind HP's vision of 'Everything as a Service.' With this vision, devices and services can interact through the cloud, and businesses and individuals will use services that cater to their needs based on location, preferences, calendar and communities.

"The technology industry must think about the cloud as a platform for creating new services and experiences. This requires an entirely new approach to the way we design, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure and services," said Prith Banerjee, senior VP of research, HP, and director, HP Labs. "The HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed will enable us to tap the brightest minds in the industry, as well as other related sectors to share their ideas in promoting innovation," he added.

Intel's participation
"We are willing to engage with the academic research community," said Andrew Chien, VP and director of Intel Research. "Creating large-scale test beds is essential to draw away barriers to innovation and encourage experimentation and learning at scale," he noted.

"With the ready and available Internet-scale resources in Singapore to support cloud computer research and development work, we can collaborate with like-minded partners to advance the field," said Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive, infrastructure development group, Infocomm. "Cloud computing is the next paradigm shift in computer technology, and this may be the next 'platform' for innovative ecosystems. This will allow Singapore to leverage this new paradigm for greater economic and social growth," he added.

In November 2007, Yahoo announced the deployment of a supercomputing-class datacenter, called M45, for cloud computing research. Carnegie Mellon University was the first institution to take advantage of this supercomputer. Yahoo also said this year an agreement with Computational Research Laboratories to jointly support cloud-computing research and make one of the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world available to academic institutions in India.

High-performance innovations
In 2008, HP announced the formation of its Scalable Computing & Infrastructure Organization (SCI), which includes a dedicated set of resources that provide expertise and spearhead development efforts to build scalable solutions designed for high-performance and cloud computing customers. The company introduced scalable computing offerings including the Intel Xeon-based HP ProLiant BL2x220c G5, the first server blade to combine two independent servers in a single blade, and the HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System (ExDS9100), a highly scalable storage system designed to simplify the management of multiple petabytes. HP also introduced the HP Performance-Optimized Datacenter, an open architecture, compact and shipped-to-order alternative for deploying IT resources.

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