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Carnegie Mellon Joins Open Cirrus Cloud Computing Test Bed

Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science has announced it is now hosint a site as part of Open Cirrus, a global, open-source test bed launched in 2008 by HP, Intel and Yahoo! to promote open collaboration among industry, academia, and governments on data-intensive, Internet-scale computing.

"Having a facility like this and being able to participate in Open Cirrus will provide us with unprecedented opportunities for research and education on Internet-scale computing," said Randal E. Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science. "We see applications well beyond those being pursued by industry today, including astronomy, neuroscience, and knowledge extraction and representation, and we will be able to delve more deeply into the design of the system itself."

CMU was the first university to make use of M45, a 4,000-processor, Hadoop-based computing cluster that Yahoo! made available to academic researchers beginning in late 2007. Since then, M45 research by CMU has resulted in infrastructure innovations, such as new approaches to diagnosing performance problems and a technique for shrinking the storage requirements for data files by 33 percent. Carnegie Mellon researchers also have used the M45 cluster to pioneer new applications that require Internet-scale resources, such as natural language processing and automated extraction of knowledge from the Web.

Carnegie Mellon researchers have benefited from access to the existing Open Cirrus site operated by Intel Labs Pittsburgh on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Together with M45 and the university's new computing cluster, Carnegie Mellon researchers now are running experiments on three cloud-computing clusters.

Greg Ganger, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Carnegie Mellon's Parallel Data Lab, said the new computing cluster, which has 159 servers and 1,165 processing cores, was made possible by Intel's generous donation of CPUs and money. The cluster has 2.4 trillion bytes, or terabytes, of memory and almost 900 terabytes of storage. A contribution by APC of power management and cooling systems also was crucial for building and operating the cluster.

In addition to Carnegie Mellon, the Open Cirrus test bed includes centers of excellence at HP Labs, Intel Research and Yahoo! as well as the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Steinbuch Centre for Computing of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in South Korea and MIMOS, a Malaysian research and development organization.

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