recommended reading

For researchers, high-performance cloud computing now a reality

For scientists and researchers whose high-density data requirements make traditional, limited-capacity cloud storage an inconvenience, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has an alternative.

At the GovCloud 2011 conference on Oct. 25, representatives from the Energy Department laboratory spoke about their work developing a high-performance computing cloud service as an alternative to the kind of services that Amazon offers businesses. The laboratory's service is a private cloud that provides hardware, software and parallel computing capability designed to appeal to a broad scientific community.

"We have essentially bridged this gap between the infrastructure and the use applications," said Gary Jung, the laboratory's high-performance computing manager.

The laboratory, which conducts unclassified research for the Energy Department and is managed and operated by the University of California, employs 4,000 workers on-site and another 4,000 off-site. When managers first started looking into Amazon's cloud computing service, there was a clear obstacle: The objectives of enterprise computing are efficiency and consolidation, reducing all usage down to as little computing space as possible. In contrast, high-performance computing applies large amounts of resources to solve big, complex problems. Trying to use Amazon's services for high-performance computing resulted in computing speeds sometimes as much as 60 times slower than regular speeds.

The solution was to develop an easy, cheap alternative, which the lab was able to do by subsidizing the service with government funds. It charges a bare-bones rate of 1 cent per computing hour versus the 20 cents Amazon charges.

"There's a philosophical decision to move in that direction, to provide a subsidy for scientific computing," said laboratory Chief Information Officer Rosio Alvarez. "Our mission is to provide scientific computing for [researchers], and not make money."

Amazon has noted this expanding market for high-performance cloud computing and is developing a similar service.

Threatwatch Alert

User accounts compromised

1 Million Online Gaming Accounts Exposed

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.