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HP, Intel, Yahoo! get into (test) bed

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Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Yahoo! are to collaborate on a global, multi-data cente, open source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education.

The goal of the initiative is 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 HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed will provide a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment designed to encourage research on the software, data centre management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing on a larger scale than ever before. The initiative will also support research of cloud applications and services.
The trio have partnered with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany to form the research initiative. The partnership with Illinois also includes the National Science Foundation.
The test bed will initially consist of six “centres of excellence” at IDA facilities, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Steinbuch Centre for Computing of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, HP Labs, Intel Research and Yahoo!. Each location will host a cloud computing infrastructure, largely based on HP hardware and Intel processors, and will have 1 000 to 4 000 processor cores capable of supporting the data-intensive research associated with cloud computing. The test bed locations are expected to be fully operational and made accessible to researchers worldwide through a selection process later this year.
The test bed will leverage Yahoo!’s technical leadership in open source projects by running Apache Hadoop – an open source, distributed computing project of the Apache Software Foundation – and other open source, distributed computing software such as Pig, the parallel programming language developed by Yahoo! Research.
“The Cloud Computing Test Bed furthers our commitment to the global, collaborative research community that is advancing the new sciences of the Internet,” says Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo! Research. “With this test bed, not only can researchers test applications at Internet scale, they will also have access to the underlying computing systems to advance understanding of how systems software and hardware function in a cloud environment.”
Prith Banerjee, senior vice-president of research at HP and director of HP Labs, adds: “To realise the full potential of cloud computing, the technology industry must think about the cloud as a platform for creating new services and experiences. This requires an entirely new approach to the way we design, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure and services. The test bed lets us tap the brightest minds in the industry, academia and government to drive innovation in this area.”
This is a view wholeheartedly endorsed by Andrew Chien, vice-president and director of Intel Research.
"We are pleased to engage with the academic research community – open collaboration with the academia is in our DNA at Intel Research,” says Chien. “Creating large-scale test beds is important because they lower barriers to innovation and provide the opportunity to experiment and learn at scale. Intel’s support of Tashi, an open source cluster management system for cloud computing, and this HP, Intel, Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed are a natural extension of our ongoing, mutually beneficial partnerships with the research community, such as the Universal Parallel Computing Research Centres.”