The University of Maine’s first supercomputer was a cluster of Apple towers. Constructed over 10 years ago, the system is still in use by university researchers. Now, a much larger cluster is in the works that will serve as Cloud resource for small and medium businesses in Maine.
It’s one piece of a broader vision for expanding Maine’s cyberinfrastructure, aiding not only existing Maine businesses but ideally providing a competitive advantage to attract new ones, as well as helping train more information technology professionals in the state. Led by the University of Maine System, the initiative, known as CIDER — Cyberinfrastructure Investment for Development, Economic Growth and Research — was recently awarded $250,000 by the Maine Technology Institute to purchase the supercomputer’s foundational machines. The project will launch with 500 to 700 machines, but hopes are that it will grow to multiple thousands of computers.