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DOE to Explore Scientific Cloud Computing at Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories
Date:10/14/2009

n use for their computations while also testing the effectiveness of cloud computing for their particular research problems. Since the project is exploratory, it’s been named Magellan in honor of the Portuguese explorer who led the first effort to sail around the globe and for whom the “clouds of Magellan” – two small galaxies in the southern sky – were named.

One of the goals of the Magellan project is to explore whether cloud computing can help meet the overwhelming demand for scientific computing. Although computation is an increasingly important tool for scientific discovery, and DOE operates some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, not all research applications require such massive computing power. The number of scientists who would benefit from mid-range computing far exceeds the amount of available resources.

“As one of the world’s leading providers of computing resources to advance science, the Department of Energy has a vested interest in exploring new options for meeting the overwhelming demand for computing time,” said Michael Strayer, associate director of DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research. “Both NERSC and ALCF have proven track records in deploying innovative new systems and providing essential support services to the scientists who use those systems, so we think the results of this project will be quite valuable as we chart future courses.”

DOE is funding the project at $32 million, with the money divided equally between Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where NERSC is located.

"Cloud computing has the potential to accelerate discoveries and enhance collaborations in everything from optimizing energy storage to analyzing data from climate research, while conserving energy and lowering operational costs," said Pete Beckman, director of Argonne’s Leadership Computin
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