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What Kind of Cloud Computing Project Would You Build With $32m?

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) plans to build a large cloud computing test bed in an effort to determine whether cloud computing can help meet scientists' demand for computing resources. Approximately $32 million will be spent on the Magellan project, which will combine the commercial cloud offerings of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

The project also will link the 100-Gbps Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) to the Argonne National and Lawrence Berkeley National laboratories to rapidly transfer data between geographically dispersed clouds. ESnet will enable DOE scientists to access the computing resources regardless of their location. As DOE scientists use the Magellan system for their computations, performance-monitoring software will be used to analyze the kinds of science applications being run on the system and how well they perform on a cloud.

The researchers say the project will help provide a better understanding of cloud computing's potential as a cost-effective and energy-efficient tool for scientific discovery. "We know that the model works well for business applications, and we are working to make it equally effective for science," says Argonne's Pete Beckman.

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