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Cloud Computing: Article

Cloud Computing: Workspace Service Will Allow You to Create Compute Clouds

The work on virtual workspaces done by the globus community is very interesting

Theo Omtzigt's Blog

Virtualization in the data center allows hardware to be reused for multiple services and provides a mechanism to extract more value out of a hardware purchase. Virtualization also allows new business models like Amazon Web Services, where the virtualization is leveraged to provide hardware for rent. That model combined with scale allows for a dynamic resource allocation that is very attractive for start-ups that do not have an IT workload that is either constant or predictable.

Scientific research is much like the workload of a web service start-up: potentially heavy but highly unpredictable. In this context, the work on virtual workspaces that is done by the globus community is very interesting. The Virtual Workspace Service provides an open source infrastructure for the deployment and management of virtual machines. Among other things, the workspace service will allow you to do the following:
  • Create compute clouds
  • Flexibly combine VM deployment with job deployment on a site configured to manage jobs using a batch scheduler
  • Deploy one-click, auto-configuring virtual clusters
  • Interface to Amazon EC2 resources
My experience with virtual clusters on EC2 has not been positive, so I am very interested to see if the Globus approach can deliver. The idea to have the ability to allocate a cluster in the background when I want to run a MPI application is just too appealing to give up on.

More Stories By Theodore Omtzigt

Theodore Omtzigt is the founder of Stillwater Supercomputing, a company devoted to building the next generation platform for computational science and engineering. Stillwater believes that the 21st century belongs to the computational scientist and that many important innovations will be driven by computational models. It seeks to aid in that quest with a high productivity environment for data mining, quantitative finance, statistics, and computational science.

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