Yahoo, Intel and HP form cloud computing labs
Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Yahoo are partnering for cloud computing research and education in order to advance the development and adoption of large-scale, data-intensive internet-hosted applications and related IT infrastructure.Juan Carlos Perez and Jeremy Kirk | Wednesday, July 30 2008
Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Yahoo are partnering for cloud computing research and education in order to advance the development and adoption of large-scale, data-intensive internet-hosted applications and related IT infrastructure.
By banding together, the trio of computer industry titans hopes to foster collaboration among vendors, universities and government agencies around cloud computing, whose progress is hampered by "financial and logistical barriers," the companies said Tuesday.
Intel, Yahoo and HP are forming the Cloud Computing Test Bed, which they describe as a global, multi-data centre, open-source effort designed to promote research on software, data centre management and hardware for large-scale, internet-hosted computing.
Partners in the initiative include the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Science Foundation and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany
These partners, HP Labs, Intel Research and Yahoo will host six "centres of excellence," each of which will have a cloud computing infrastructure mostly based on HP hardware and Intel processors. The centres will have 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores and are expected to be up and running later this year for selected researchers from around the globe.
Non-founding members will be invited to participate in the test bed by the end of the year, said John Manley, director of the Automated Infrastructure Lab with HP Labs in Bristol, England.
Manley said the research could spawn new topics for researchers to study, such as how to ensure services keep running when equipment fails, known as fault tolerance.
"It might well be that some of the fault tolerance mechanisms we know nowadays have a hard time scaling," Manley said.
When companies begin using services hosted elsewhere for their processing, security is a huge concern. Those services must be created in a secure partition that is isolated from others. The goal is to be able to provision those services quickly in their own partition or cell, Manley said.
Another concern is the management of virtual machines when several operating systems are running on one piece of hardware. The configuration can save money on infrastructure but can be more complex to manage.
Much of intellectual property that comes out of the research will be shared. "The intention is to be very open about the results," Manley said. "This is being set up as an open collaborative framework."
The centres will run the open source, distributed computing Apache Hadoop project from the Apache Software Foundation and other open source, distributed computing software such as Pig, a parallel programming language developed by Yahoo Research.
In a reorganisation announced in June, Yahoo announced the creation of a Cloud Computing & Data Infrastructure Group.
Meanwhile, HP Labs will use the centres to do research on "intelligent infrastructure and dynamic cloud services," an area the company has identified as a priority, the companies said.
Intel researchers will in turn focus on extending the company's knowledge and development of processors, chipsets and other technologies for cloud computing data centres.
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