IBM and EU establish cloud-computing consortium

The research consortium aims to reduce the cost of maintaining Internet services

IBM on Wednesday said it was establishing a consortium with the European Union and universities to research new cloud-computing models to reduce the cost of hosting and maintaining Internet-based services.

The consortium will undertake research that could lead to the development of new computer science models that bring together managed Internet-based services from diverse hardware and software environments in a flexible cloud environment, IBM said in a statement.

The new design and deployment models could help cut costs compared with conventional models, which are complex and require significant time and cost to maintain, IBM said. The current systems are not flexible and need to be manually customized for services to communicate and work together. The researchers hope to establish a framework to cut down the design and deployment time for such services by hosting them in a central cloud environment.

The researchers will undertake a project called Artifact-Centric Service Interoperation (ACSI), which is based on a concept of interoperation hubs, which was introduced by IBM Research last year. These hubs provide cloud-based environments in which flexible Internet-based software and services can easily be created and deployed.

Customers would pay for service integration and pay for the hosted services depending on data stored and transactions completed. Consortium partners will develop services and applications for the project, IBM said.

IBM was not immediately able to comment on whether technologies derived from the project will be put to immediate use.

The universities involved in the project include Sapienza Universita di Roma, Italy; Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy; Imperial College, United Kingdom; Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Netherlands; University of Tartu in Estonia and Collibra NV in Belgium.

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