Friday, August 1, 2008

HP, Intel and Yahoo! to Jointly Explore Cloud Computing

Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corp. and Yahoo! have announced the creation of a global, multi-data center, open source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education. The goal of the initiative is to promote open collaboration among industry, academia and governments by removing the financial and logistical barriers to research in data-intensive, Internet-scale computing.

The HP, Intel and Yahoo! cloud computing test bed will provide a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment designed to encourage research on the software, data center management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing at a larger scale than ever before. The initiative will also support research of cloud applications and services.

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 (KIT) in Germany to form the research initiative. The partnership with Illinois also includes the National Science Foundation.

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 to 4 thousand processor cores capable of supporting the data-intensive research associated with cloud computing. The test bed locations are expected to be fully operational and made accessible to researchers worldwide through a selection process later this year.

Researchers at HP Labs, the central research arm of HP, will use the test bed to conduct advanced research in the areas of intelligent infrastructure and dynamic cloud services. HP Labs recently sharpened its focus to help HP and its customers capitalize on the industry’s shift toward cloud computing, a driving force behind HP’s vision of Everything as a Service. With Everything as a Service, devices and services will interact seamlessly through the cloud, and businesses and individuals will use services that anticipate their needs based on location, preferences, calendar and communities.

The Cloud Computing Test Bed is the next step in expanding each company’s ongoing initiatives in cloud computing. In November 2007, Yahoo! announced the deployment of a supercomputing-class data center, called M45, for cloud computing research; Carnegie Mellon University was the first institution to take advantage of this supercomputer. Yahoo! also announced this year an agreement with Computational Research Laboratories (CRL) to jointly support cloud computing research and make one of the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world available to academic institutions in India. Earlier this year, Yahoo! hosted the first-ever Hadoop Summit and Data-Intensive Computing Symposium. Co-sponsored with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), these meetings brought together leading experts from industry, academia and government to discuss the future directions of Hadoop and data-intensive computing.

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