Cloud computing is gaining traction in the commercial world, but can such an approach also meet the computing and data storage demands of the nation’s scientific community? A new program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S.
Argonne, IL, and Berkeley, CA (Vocus) October 14, 2009 -- Cloud computing is gaining traction in the commercial world, but can such an approach also meet the computing and data storage demands of the nation’s scientific community? A new program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will examine cloud computing as a cost-effective and energy-efficient computing paradigm for scientists to accelerate discoveries in a variety of disciplines, including analysis of scientific data sets in biology, climate change and physics.
Cloud computing refers to a flexible model for on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services, and software) that can be easily provisioned as needed. While shared resources are not new to high-end scientific computing, smaller computational problems are often run on departmental Linux clusters with software customized for the science application. Cloud computing centralizes the resources to gain efficiency of scale and permit scientists to scale up to solve larger science problems while still allowing the system software to be configured as needed for individual application requirements.
To test cloud computing for scientific capability, DOE centers at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in Illinois and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in California will install similar mid-range computing hardware, but will offer different computing environments. The combined set of systems will create a cloud testbed that scientists ca
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