Friday, February 24, 2012

Preserving lifeline services in Japan on the cloud

It’s day two of cloudscape, and today we are not just being streamed live over the webcast, but also joined via international link by colleagues in Japan.

Atsuhiro Goto of the Institute of Information Security IISEC joined us from Tokyo to tell us about their Highly Reliable Inter Cloud Systems project, currently funded to the tune of 33million Euros. This project is looking at building inter cloud services, including aspects such as cloud resource provisioning, federation of clouds and building interfaces. In Japan, the Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum was set up in 2009, and includes 80 members who both explore technical issues, and promote clouds to users in science, government and business. In all these activities, there is recognition that social infrastructures based on cloud computing must be based on global standards. For Atsuhiro Goto, these technology evaluation efforts also have added value through their role in building global collaboration.

Nearly one year ago, Japan of course experienced a devastating earthquake and tsunami, which caused serious damage to their power infrastructure, including widespread outages and black outs. (The image here shows aftershocks, all at more than magnitude 4, courtesy of Carl Christensen, Quake-Catcher Network project).

Since then, the GICTF has been looking at using clouds to preserve “lifeline” services. This includes a secure inter cloud, where essential services such as admin, finance and medical care can be migrated to providers when massive breakdown or failure happens. Secondly, providers can also reassign services in an emergency away from non-essential activities, such as gaming, to these lifeline services.

This time last year, e-ScienceTalk was reporting from the International Symposium for Grids and Clouds in Taipei. Several of the Japanese delegates were unable to attend the conference as planned, due to the events unfolding in their country and the conference sent its heartfelt best wishes to them. e-ScienceTalk will once again be reporting from ISGC next week, and we are looking forward to meeting more of our Japanese colleagues this time around.

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