Found at HPCwire, news that researchers at SDSC have gotten a two year grant of $450,000 from the NSF
The NSF award focuses on the Cluster Exploratory (CluE), a distributed, large-scale computing resource formed in late 2007 between Google and IBM. …Last April, the NSF issued a solicitation for research projects aimed at developing software to make CluE a researcher-friendly resource to analyze and manage extremely large amounts of data.
Specifically, SDSC researchers will explore the use of compute clouds to dynamically provision and manage large-scale scientific datasets. This is in contrast to the current approach using a traditional parallel relational database management system (RDBMS) architecture, which is more structured but also more static. The SDSC team will investigate the feasibility of the cloud computing approach versus known conventional approaches, while evaluating the trade-offs, advantages, and disadvantages.