Berkeley report calls for standard cloud API to drive adoption

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Well, it looks like someone at the EE Times hit the publish button a few hours early, since they refer to a press release for tomorrow in the present tense. But if you’re up late reading about HPC news on this website, you my friend are ahead of the game:

A group of leading computer scientists published a white paper Thursday (Feb. 12) that lays out a broad road map for cloud computing. They called for a standard application programming interface (API) to spark adoption among a broad set of providers and users.

…The report called for cloud services to apply encryption and improve software tools for virtualization, debugging and code scaling to nurture the trend. In addition, it said computer makers need to do a better job of optimizing their hardware for today’s large data centers, and they should embrace solid state drives as part of the storage hierarchy.

“Cloud computing is going to happen, and it will impact applications as well as infrastructure software and hardware,” said David Patterson, head of Berkeley’s new Parallel Computing Lab and one of the authors of the report.

The argument in favor of a standard API for all cloud offerings (like Amazon’s EC2, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google’s AppEngine) is to quell fear of vendor lock in and, in so doing, to drive customers off the bench.

The report is evidently chock full of recommendations on how hardware and software makers can do a better job when it comes to helping cloud providers deploy efficient, effective resources

Among its other hardware recommendations, the authors said computer makers need to do a better job driving power management technologies throughout their systems. Servers should be able to turn off unused DRAM banks and spin disks at a slower rate when not in use, Patterson said.

…In terms of software, the paper called for advances in virtual machines, debuggers, storage and automated scaling capabilities. “Software needs to be aware that it is no longer running on bare metal but on virtual machines, [and] it needs to have billing built in from the beginning,” it said.

Much more in in the EE Times story. When the report released tomorrow I’ll have to download a copy for the plane ride home.


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