Feeds

IBM sends Blue Clouds back to school

Qatar exchange

SANS - Survey on application security programs

While cloud computing might represent a return of sorts to a shared, host computing model that was pioneered by companies like IBM, a lot of the key research, development, and production work done on cloud computing has been done by the big names in hyperscale, Web 2.0 applications: Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and the like. It's tough for a meat-and-potatoes, server-and-operating-system vendor like Big Blue to figure out how to get its hands on some money in this cloud racket. Just like it was difficult, at least during the first few years of the boom, for the company to get its piece of the dot-com pie.

As IT vendors often do when they are trying to position themselves as thought/product leaders in a new field - and cloud computing is new, even if it really is just utility computing gussied up with a slightly different programming model - IBM is going back to school. In this case, IBM has forged partnerships with a dozen universities that will see them make use of the Blue Cloud twist on the open source Hadoop programming environment. Presumably, these clouds will run on IBM's System x servers. The feeds and speeds of the clouds that IBM is working with the schools to build were not available as we went to press.

One of the universities in the IBM partnership - and arguably the most important one - is Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. A slew of technologies have come out of CMU, including the Mach Unix kernel that was at the heart of IBM's AIX for a time. And more significantly for Big Blue's cloud efforts, Carnegie Mellon is also the school where Yahoo!, which is the primary contributor to the Hadoop project, gave techies access to a 4,000-processor, 1.5 petabyte grid - er, cloud - back in November 2007. The other important school in this deal is Texas A&M University.

There is an interesting twist on this Blue Cloud thing announced today. It is the Qatar campuses of CMU and Texas A&M that are working in conjunction with Qatar University to do cloud projects with IBM. Thanks to high oil prices over the past several years, Qatar has enough money to get American universities to set up campuses in this Middle Eastern country. The small nation has the highest per-capita income in the world and no income tax, and its future, like the rest of us, will be based on things other than oil. But in the meantime, some computing expertise with the latest programming techniques will come in handy.

The three Qatar campuses will be collaborating with IBM to do seismic modeling as part of oil and gas exploration and create integrated production software for the oil and gas industry, according to Big Blue. (What makes this clouds and not just supercomputing and ERP with a process bent is beyond me).

The universities are also working on an Arabic language search engine and will be testing and migrating unspecified Hadoop/MapReduce programming models (from what to what, they didn't say). The schools will also be creating a curriculum to teach cloud programming techniques. Over time, the schools expect top use the clouds as part of other search, data mining, simulation, computational biology, and financial modeling and forecasting applications.

The University of Pretoria in South Africa is also getting its own Blue Cloud and will be using it for medical research related to protein folding and how it is affected by DNA interactions with medicines. A consortium of seven universities in East Africa, known as the Higher Education Alliance for Leadership Through Health, will be making use of the cloud center in South Africa too.

The consortium is also getting access to a remote learning system called Sakai that IBM plans to host on Linux partitions on its mainframes to give students in Kenya, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda access to online courses relating to cloud computing. Finally, IBM said that it has been working with Kyushu University in Japan since last November to get cloud computing infrastructure in the hands of students.

IBM has opened thirteen cloud computing centers for academics, companies, and government agencies around the globe to play around with as they test code and has an internal cloud, operated by IBM Research, which the company says has over 100,000 users today. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.