Yet another government agency is migrating to the cloud.
It was announced on October 14th that the US Department of Energy (DOE) will spend $32 million on a project, code named Magellan, to deploy a large cloud computing test bed with thousands of CPU cores and explore the work of cloud offerings from such providers of commercial clouds as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
The agency hopes to find the cloud a cost-effective and energy-efficient way for its scientists to speed up discoveries across several disciplines, including analysis of scientific data sets in biology, climate change and physics.
The project will explore whether cloud computing can help meet the overwhelming demand for scientific computing, according to the DOE. Interestingly, while computation is an increasingly important tool for scientific discovery (and DOE operates some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers), the agency doesn’t require such massive computing power for all its research applications. And so, in this case, the cloud would benefit a huge number of DOE scientists that require only mid-range computing power.
Of course, cloud computing centralizes the resources to gain efficiency of scale. And it will permit DOE scientists to scale up to solve larger science problems, while still allowing the system software to be configured as needed for individual apps.
These days, it seems like the government is turning out to be a real pioneer in cloud computing. Read more on government clouds!