Changing the Way Universities Use the cloud

After hearing several speakers this past semester I want to reflect on what some of our speakers have shared specifically on how they relate to cloud computing in natural science research.

We spoke about how a lot of research is done locally on someone’s machine or by a specific department. The university pays for these machines local to the department and they may be even paying for that person’s local machine.  But what I do not understand is why something similar to Amazon EC2 or Google App Engine is not implemented so that data can be stored in a sequential manner and then be accessed by anyone with the right permissions the data. Because the data should be accessible in many different formats, this project would be a major undertaking. It would probably be a major undertaking and could require the combined efforts of many of the top research Universities around the country.

Open Stack is a Infrastructure as a Service that was started by NASA and RacksSpace and is essentially an open source version of Amazon Web Services EC2. The universities could use Open Stack in order to create a servie similar to EC2 or Google App Engine. Using Open Stack would significantly reduce the time it would stack to develop the universities infrastructure as a service system. A service suggest as this would then make previous research data available to anyone and ensure that the data of the research lives on past the researchers themselves. This would also make it that data that confirmed previous research can be available and looked into. 


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