HP, Intel Corp. and Yahoo have created a global, multi-data center test bed for cloud computing research and development, the companies said today. The initiative is designed to provide researchers with access to an open source cloud platform for honing their development skills. The new platform will compete with a similar cloud testbed introduced by Google and IBM.
Both efforts are designed to provide researchers and universities with easy access to a cloud platform on which they can develop the skills required to write and support the cloud applications of the future.
The three tech giants are partnering with three universities - the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany - along with the National Science Foundation.
The testbed will initially consist of six "centers of excellence," each hosting a cloud computing infrastructure running on HP hardware and between 1,000 to 4,000 Intel processor cores. The six centers - housed 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 - will be fully operational later this year.
While HP and Intel provide hardware and research facilities, Yahoo will contribute extend its expertise in open source projects by running Apache Hadoop and Pig, the parallel programming language developed by Yahoo Research.
"The HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed furthers our commitment to the global, collaborative research community that is advancing the new sciences of the Internet," said 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."
Researchers at HP Labs, the central research arm of HP, will use the test bed to conduct advanced research in the areas of intelligent infrastructure and dynamic cloud services. "To realize the full potential of cloud computing, the technology industry must think about the cloud as a platform for creating new services and experiences," said Prith Banerjee, senior vice president of Research at HP and director of HP Labs. "This requires an entirely new approach to the way we design, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure and services."
"Creating large-scale test beds is important because they lower barriers to innovation and provide the opportunity to experiment and learn at scale," said Andrew A. Chien, vice president and director of Intel Research. "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 Centers."
IDA will provide the computing resources required for its users to develop cloud computing software and applications. "With the ready and available Internet-scale resources in Singapore to support cloud computer research and development work, we can collaborate with like-minded partners to advance the field," said Khoong Hock Yun, assistant chief executive of the Infrastructure Development Group at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. "Cloud computing is considered by many to be the next paradigm shift in computer technology, and this may be the next 'platform' for innovative ecosystems. Partnerships like this will allow Singapore to leverage this new paradigm for greater economic and social growth."