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Government Brews National Cloud for Science

Computerworld Australia (01/07/10) Pauli, Darren

A national cloud computing network will be made available to Australian researchers, as will $50 million toward the development of a petabyte supercomputer and data network within three to five years.  “Everything is heading toward data-intensive science, and effective network access speeds will go through the roof,” says Lindsay Botten, director of the National Computational Infrastructure group.  “The federal budget funds–$20 million for the data center and $30 million for the petascale computer–were allocated for the next two years to provide computer resources to specific research areas like climate change, which itself received substantial money.”  Through these upgrades, scientists in many disciplines will be able to access–usually for free–the Australian computer networks without needing advanced information technology skills.  Organizers also intend to strengthen the ties between Australia’s cloud research networks and the massive grids spread across the Northern Hemisphere, such as those employed in the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.  Within five years, Australian and New Zealand scientists will jointly run under a trans-Tasman cloud network that promises to deliver greater simplicity, scalability, and standardization than the current grid.  The Australian Research Collaboration Service will lead the effort, and it plans to expand its overseas grid connections that link Australian and New Zealand researchers to the major European and U.S. networks.


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