February 25 -
NSF Teams w/ Google, IBM for Academic 'Cloud' Access
Feb. 25 -- Today, the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information
Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate announced the creation of a
strategic relationship with Google Inc. and IBM. The Cluster Exploratory
(CluE) relationship will enable the academic research community to conduct
experiments and test new theories and ideas using a large-scale, massively
distributed computing cluster.
In an open letter to the academic computing research community, Jeannette
Wing, the assistant director at NSF for CISE, said that the relationship
will give the academic computer science research community access to
resources that would be unavailable to it otherwise.
"Access to the Google-IBM academic cluster via the CluE program will provide
the academic community with the opportunity to do research in data-intensive
computing and to explore powerful new applications," Wing said. "It can also
serve as a tool for educating the next generation of scientists and
"Google is proud to partner with the National Science Foundation to provide
computing resources to the academic research community," said Stuart
Feldman, vice president of engineering at Google Inc. "It is our hope that
research conducted using this cluster will allow researchers across many
fields to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by large-scale,
"Extending the Google/IBM academic program with the National Science
Foundation should accelerate research on Internet-scale computing and drive
innovation to fuel the applications of the future," said Willy Chiu, vice
president of IBM software strategy and High Performance On Demand Solutions.
"IBM is pleased to be collaborating with the NSF on this project."
In October of last year, Google and IBM created a large-scale computer
cluster of approximately 1,600 processors to give the academic community
access to otherwise prohibitively expensive resources. Fundamental changes
in computer architecture and increases in network capacity are encouraging
software developers to take new approaches to computer-science problem
solving. In order to bridge the gap between industry and academia, it is
imperative that academic researchers are exposed to the emerging computing
paradigm behind the growth of "Internet-scale" applications.
This new relationship with NSF will expand access to this research
infrastructure to academic institutions across the nation. In an effort to
create greater awareness of research opportunities using data-intensive
computing, the CISE directorate will solicit proposals from academic
researchers. NSF will then select the researchers to have access to the
cluster and provide support to the researchers to conduct their work. Google
and IBM will cover the costs associated with operating the cluster and will
provide other support to the researchers. NSF will not provide any funding
to Google or IBM for these activities.
While the timeline for releasing the formal request for proposals to the
academic community is still being developed, NSF anticipates being able to
support 10 to 15 research projects in the first year of the program, and
will likely expand the number of projects in the future.
Information about the Google-IBM Academic Cluster Computing Initiative can
be found at www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20071008_ibm_univ.html.
According to Wing, NSF hopes the relationship may provide a blueprint for
future collaborations between the academic computing research community and
private industry. "We welcome any comparable offers from industry that offer
the same potential for transformative research outcomes," Wing said.
Source: National Science Foundation