HP, Intel, Yahoo Team In Testing Cloud Computing

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HP said that the test bed will provide an open global network of computing clusters which will enable scientists to further cloud computing research and also promote open and collaborative study by removing the financial and logistical barriers to research in Internet-scale computing.

Although cloud computing is still relatively new, large-scale, distributed computing environments are regularly used for such data-intensive tasks as predicting climate change or analyzing risk, according to HP.

Russ Daniels, vice president and chief technology officer for cloud computing services at HP, in a statement, said that he expects innovations in cloud services to eventually lead to an "intuitive Internet" that is focused on users rather than on technologies.

Daniels also said that he envisions computing moving toward a model where services hosted in the cloud collaborate with a broad range of devices to determine a person's intentions and offer assistance.

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"Today we leave it to the user to figure out when and how technology might help, limiting the industry's addressable market to the technology-savvy," Daniels said in a statement. "The cloud provides a platform to attack this complexity, capturing context and analytics that enable technology to behave intuitively, make suggestions and take initiative."

Initial testing will be conducted at six sites: The Infocomm Development Authority in Singapore; The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Karlsruhe University in Karlsruhe, Germany; and facilities at HP Labs, Intel Research and Yahoo. More centers will be added in the future.

The facilities will use HP hardware and software and run Yahoo's Apache Hadoop, an open source platform that lets users write and run applications that process vast amounts of data. Additionally, each center will offer 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores and up to several petabytes of storage.

Access to this level of distributed computing power will provide scientists with the ability to "look under the hood" to better understand an infrastructure shared across multiple continents and data centers," said Kumar Goswami, director of strategic commercial collaborations at HP Labs, in a statement.

For instance, access to multiple interconnected data centers could enable research on loosely coupled federated computing, disaster recovery and follow-me functionally for mobility applications, according to HP.

"It's not enough to find solutions that work in a research lab under controlled conditions," said HP Fellow John Wilkes, one of the researchers on the project, in a statement. "We need to find a set of simple solutions that can be applied en masse to the next generation of cloud-based services."