Feeds

Hadron-colliding, volcano-tracking boffins pocket cloud freebie

CERN, ESA and pals unwrap donated number cruncher

High performance access to file storage

Euro biz bosses have donated a cloud to top scientists at CERN, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Cambridge-based European Molecular Biology Lab (EMBL) - to accelerate their boffinry breakthrough rate.

The infrastructure donated by 18 businesses - including SAP, Telefonica and Interoute - will be used to store, share and crunch the data involved in the research of volcanos, particle collision and genome sequencing.

The initiative is called Helix Nebula*, the Science Cloud.

At CERN the extra computing power will be used to process data from the ATLAS experiment in its Large Hadron Collider. In Cambridge, bio-boffins at EMBL will throw the donated machinery at drilling into large genomes, allowing a deeper insight into evolution and biodiversity.

And the European Space Agency will use the new processing capacity to analyse and predict natural disasters, including volcanos and earthquakes.

The idea at the ESA is to stick satellite measurements of the earth's surface - garnered from 20 years of readings accurate to within a centimetre - into the cloud, allowing more scientists to analyse the data.

Satellite measurements of the Earth's surface, credit: Helix Nebula – the Science Cloud

Wolfgang Lengert of the ESA explained that the Science Cloud would give scientists instantaneous access to data and allow researchers to share tools and best practice - clearing the way for "state-of-the-art research".

Crucially, the business-donated cloud will make fondling data much cheaper for scientists. Lengert comments:

The availability of cloud computing services for mass-market prices – a few cents per hour for processing – in combination with an open and free data access policy will drastically increase the demand for satellites’ data

Greater understanding of natural disasters such as volcanos could help mitigate the damage they cause, he added. And if successful the data cruncher can also be used to investigate the ocean, Polar ice caps, climate and other areas.

The businesses behind the donation to the cash-strapped boffins are keen to make the case for cloud computing, hoping to catch the eye of European government departments with a bit more cash to throw around. ®

* Naturally, it's on Facebook.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.