CLEMSON – Clemson University is part of a consortium of universities that will receive $10 million to fund the development of a flexible scientific cloud architecture that will support the national research community.

The National Science Foundation-funded project, “CloudLab: Flexible Scientific Infrastructure to Support Fundamental Advances in Cloud Architectures and Applications,” is designed to be a large-scale, distributed facility that can support hundreds of different experimental cloud environments for researchers simultaneously. Further, this environment is designed to be a testing and proving ground for researchers who will ultimately develop the next generation of cloud architectures.

The project’s collaborating institutions are led by the University of Utah and include Clemson, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of Wisconsin, Raytheon BBN Technologies and the US Ignite project.

It is focused on providing the necessary resources for researchers to build their own cloud environments specifically tailored to their scientific and research applications that enable the exploration of fundamental science in the cloud. The cloud architecture research enabled by CloudLab will empower a new generation of applications and services that bring direct benefits to the public in such critically important fields as medicine, smart electric grids and natural disaster early warning and response.

“CloudLab creates a facility that will catalyze significant and fundamental changes in the scientific world’s understanding of computing,” said Kuang-Ching Wang, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who will lead the project at Clemson University.  “By providing unprecedented levels of access and support to customizing building blocks of a computing cloud interconnected with high-performance and software-programmable networks, CloudLab will help researchers reimagine more powerful ways to compute their data and conduct their research.”

“We are very excited to be part of this groundbreaking cloud computing research project,” said Clemson Chief Information Officer Jim Bottum, who will serve on the Clemson team. “The expectation is that a great deal of first-rate technology will be deployed in production environments by the research facilitators funded in our NSF ACI-REF (Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Educational Facilitation) project to enhance the research capabilities of our communities.”

The existing NSF-funded Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Educational Facilitation project is designed to extend the reach and impact of campus and national research computing infrastructure on the science conducted by students and faculty. Through the coupling of these two projects, researchers around the nation will have access to both the virtual infrastructure needed to conduct their research and the expertise of these distributed facilitators to assist in the deployment of these resources.

Clemson Chief Technology Officer Jim Pepin, professors Barr von Oehsen and Amy Apon and research associate Linh Ngo also are on the project team. Dell, Cisco, and HP are the project’s key industrial partners.

The project officially begins Oct. 1, and researchers can apply for a CloudLab account at www.cloudlab.us.

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This material is based upon work supported by the NSF under Grant No. 1419199 and 1341935. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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