This morning’s Cloudscape session on global developments in cloud computing also brought us news from the Americas. Lisandro Zambenedetti Granville, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, talked to us about research and development in Brazil.
In Brazil there are two nationwide cloud consortia. One is called altostratus, funded at around [CORRECTION] 0.5 million Euros, which looks at middleware solutions for services in hybrid heterogeneous cloud systems. Altostratus is looking in particular at integrating service oriented architecture and cloud computing paradigms to provide services in a heterogeneous environment.
The second consortium is called Just-in-time-clouds, at just under a million Euros and is working to amplify the elasticity of Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers, based on federating resources together to form a combined IaaS system. This includes looking at how to federate fine grained resources, such as non-conventional resources, issues around billing and so on.
In addition there are two working groups. Working group “mc2 – my scientific cloud” offers Platform-as-a-Service for instantiating personalised scientific gateways, but using different back-end infrastructures. A further working group on cloud computing for science is looking in particular at security issues in cloud storage. In general, future research areas in Brazil will include finding clean and cheap energy sources for large data centres, using non-conventional devices for creating much larger and distributed data centres and exploring bringing clouds to areas such as aGovernment and eHealth.
Moving north, Irene M Qualters of the Office of Cyberinfrastruture in the NSF presented an overview of cloud strategy from the point of view of a US funding agency. They want to support clouds that provide a comprehensive computational and data infrastructure for advancing all scientific fields. Funding has recently been awarded to research in the areas of earth science, understanding the phenome, gravitational waves, clean energy, climate predictions, social networking, complex networks, health records and cyber security, among others.
Through their Advanced Computing Infrastructure, they are creating and deploying a comprehensive portfolio of services designed to facilitate cutting-edge research across the whole of NSF. Some activities are locally funded, such as the Cornell University Red Cloud. Others have significant national funding such as the Teragrid follow-on project, XSEDE, a five-year, $121-million project to provide integrated advanced digital resources and services, billed as an “extreme science and engineering discovery environment”. Research into clouds themselves has also been funded, looking at test beds, security and programming models, languages and tools. The future in Brazil and the US looks pretty cloudy… but in a good way!