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By Paul R. Brenner, Associate Director, Center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame
Last week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a consortium of researchers announced funding for two cloud testbeds, named “Chameleon” and “CloudLab,” that will power academic research. The $20 million award will be split evenly between the two projects and will enable the academic research community to create and experiment with cloud architectures and transformative applications.  The projects will give researchers access to various processor, storage and networking solutions upon which to test their workloads.
The federation of multiple clouds in the real world isn’t far out of reach, and through a CERN openlab research project, CERN and Rackspace are probing the possibility of true federated hybrid clouds built on OpenStack.
At OpenStack Summit Hong Kong, Rackspace and MIT took the keynote stage to discuss how OpenStack is being used in academia and how it is powering sophisticated research projects.
OpenStack is driving true change in academia – it’s powering some of the most sophisticated research projects at top organizations throughout the world. OpenStack has provided researchers a low cost, high performance compute option to handle intense workloads and empowers computer science engineers with a free and open cloud operating system.
At OpenStack Summit Hong Kong, Jonathan Proulx of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) highlighted how the lab is using OpenStack to power dozens of research projects.
With a mission-based focus on scientific research, universities and research institutes have long been at the forefront of technology innovation that embraces open standards and ease of collaboration. By nature, the academy well understands that when hundreds of researchers contribute to a shared purpose and solve a shared problem in open and transparent ways, everyone benefits. The pace of innovation is accelerated and the diversity of solutions and approaches ensures that good solutions persist and not so good ones are quickly identified. Some might argue that the relative success of open-sourced platforms suggests that proprietary technologies often preclude necessary innovation. The growth of cloud has further challenged both researchers and industry. The scale economies of cloud-based solutions brings with it attendant challenges for the research community – beginning with the question of how to scale a conversation that brings both sides of an open community together to ensure that the full benefits of the cloud can be realized.
The researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) are on an amazing mission. They operate the world’s largest particle physics laboratory and their research uncovers the mysteries of universe. Coincidentally, CERN is also the birthplace of the world wide web as we know it.
Cloud-based platforms are key to pushing colleges and universities ahead of the curve in academic and scientific research. That’s exactly why schools like the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are turning to open source technologies like OpenStack and the OpenStack-powered Rackspace Private Cloud to fuel their scientific research efforts.
Rackspace and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have designed an advanced OpenStack-powered platform to fuel academic research, computational power and big data that will revolutionize how scientists and scholars leverage the cloud.
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