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HP, Intel, Yahoo! Announce New Contributors to Open Cirrus Cloud Computing

Cloud computing significantly reduces costs for software providers and allows customers to have access to powerful applications

HP, Intel, and Yahoo! on Monday announced that four new organizations will join Open Cirrus, a global, multiple data center, open source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research.

China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI), the Supercomputing Center of Galicia (CESGA), China Telecom's Guangzhou Research Institute (GSTA), and Georgia Tech University's Center for Experimental Research in Computer Systems (CERCS) have become the latest to join the research effort, expanding the global footprint of Open Cirrus to 14 locations and creating the most geographically diverse cloud computing test bed currently available to researchers.

Cloud computing significantly reduces costs for software providers and allows customers to have access to powerful applications on a wider variety of devices. However, driving advancements in the cloud approach has presented significant challenges to developers. One barrier to innovation is providing research and development (R&D) professionals access to next-generation cloud computing resources in order to develop new tools, techniques and applications.

Launched in July 2008, Open Cirrus was created 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 test bed, which has more than 80 research projects currently underway, simulates a real-life, global, internet-scale environment and gives researchers an unprecedented ability to test applications and measure the performance of infrastructure and services built to run on large-scale cloud systems. For example:

Carnegie Mellon University is collaborating with Intel to use Open Cirrus to advance stem cell research, pairing a microscopic imaging system with cloud-based visual processing to automatically analyze the behaviors of each stem cell in a large population under various culture conditions. This approach promises to facilitate new developments in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug discovery. HP is using Open Cirrus to build a Cloud Sustainability Dashboard to evaluate and understand the overall sustainability impact of cloud computing. By developing a set of economical, ecological and social models -- and factoring in IT equipment information, power supply and regional electricity price -- the dashboard will dynamically incorporate sustainability metrics into global workload management and business continuity tools to enable sustainability-aware management of cloud services. Yahoo! is using Open Cirrus to support a broad range of computer science research, from web-scale machine learning and natural language processing to Wikipedia analysis to understand "the wisdom of crowds." Hadoop, the open source technology at the epicenter of big data and cloud computing, is the software framework being used by global researchers across the Open Cirrus Testbed for big data analysis. Yahoo! is the driving force and primary contributor to Apache Hadoop, which connects thousands of computer servers to process and analyze data in parallel at supercomputing speed.

With the expansion of the Open Cirrus community, researchers worldwide will have access to new approaches and skill sets that will enable them to more quickly realize the full potential of cloud computing. Each of the new sites will contribute tools and best practices, and help further benchmark and compare alternative approaches to service management at data center scale:

Located in Beijing, CMRI is the R&D center of the largest mobile phone operator in the world. The company is an active proponent of developing an industry ecosystem around its research efforts, providing free public trials to attract individual and third-party developers, researchers and students. CESGA is a leading scientific installation in Spain and one of the high-performance computing leaders in the world. CESGA will help the Open Cirrus community experiment with and identify the requirements of high performance computing as a cloud service. The CERCS center at Georgia Tech will leverage the diversity of systems across Open Cirrus through research focused on energy-efficient cloud ecosystems, multicore platforms and virtualization technologies, and systems management technologies. China Telecom owns the largest fixed-line network and CDMA2000 network in the world. China Telecom's GSTA will leverage Open Cirrus to promote the research and development of service provisioning and consolidation techniques to construct a large-scale, carrier-class cloud service platform.

In addition to the new sites, the Open Cirrus test bed already includes centers of excellence at HP Labs, Intel Labs and Yahoo!, as well as the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Steinbuch Centre for Computing of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, Russian Academy of Sciences, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in South Korea, Carnegie Mellon University, and MIMOS, a Malaysian research and development organization.

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