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HP, Intel and Yahoo! Create Global Cloud Computing Research Test Bed [UPDATED]

This just in, as the kids say. The three companies have announced a joint test bed that expands upon previous commitments by them to spur development of cloud computing software

The HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed will provide a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment designed to encourage research on the software, data center management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing at a larger scale than ever before. The initiative will also support research of cloud applications and services.

The effort includes 6 data centers on 3 continents

Each location will host a cloud computing infrastructure, largely based on HP hardware and Intel processors, and will have 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores capable of supporting the data-intensive research associated with cloud computing. The test bed locations are expected to be fully operational and made accessible to researchers worldwide through a selection process later this year.

The data centers will be at IDA facilities, UIUC (those guys are in everything these days), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, HP Labs, Intel Research, and Yahoo!

HP is highlighting this as part of their new “Everything as a Service” marketing push. Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo! Research had this to say

“With this test bed, not only can researchers test applications at Internet scale, they will also have access to the underlying computing systems to advance understanding of how systems software and hardware function in a cloud environment.”

This announcement follows on previous announcements by Yahoo! on the deployment of its supercomputing data center for cloud computing research and the CRL effort in India. It also supports directions set out by HP’s recently announced Scalable Computing & Infrastructure Organization.

There is a lot more in the release, which is as long as you might expect with these three heavy weight companies making sure they have enough ink devoted to them.

[UPDATE] During the Q&A on this a reporter from VentureBeat.com asked why these guys aren’t just part of the Google/IBM CluE initiative (and here) announced earlier. Andrew Chien answered that as far as he understands CluE focuses at the application level. He sees this test bed as both different and complimentary, supporting research not only in the applications but also at the system software and manageability layers, and ultimately on strategies for taking advantage of cloud-specific hardware features in future chips. According to Chien, there is “a greater breadth of technical space that can be explored in this effort.”

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