Google, IBM promote 'cloud' computing at universities

Google and IBM have launched a program to help students write software for parallel computing applications.

Google and IBM have teamed up to offer a curriculum and support for software development on large-scale distributed computing systems, with six US universities signing up so far.

The program is designed to help students and researchers get experience working on Internet-scale applications, the companies said. The relatively new form of parallel computing, sometimes called cloud computing, hasn't yet caught on in university settings, said Colleen Haikes, an IBM spokeswoman.

"Right now, although the technique is being used in industry, it's not being taught in universities," she said.

IBM and Google are providing hardware, software and services to add to university resources, the two companies said.

The University of Washington signed up with the program late last year. This year, five more schools, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of Maryland, have joined the program. The two companies expect to expand the program to other universities in the future.

The program focuses on parallel computing techniques that take computational tasks and break them into hundreds or thousands of smaller pieces to run across many servers at the same time. The techniques allow Web applications such as search, social networking and mobile commerce to run quickly, the companies said in a press release.

IBM and Google have dedicated a cluster of several hundred computers, including PCs donated by Google and IBM BladeCenter and other servers, and the companies expect the cluster to grow to more than 1,600 processors.

The companies call these clusters "cloud" computing. A cloud is a collection of machines that can serve as a host for a variety of applications, including interactive Web 2.0 applications. Clouds support a broader set of applications than do traditional computing grids, because they allow various kinds of middleware to be hosted on virtual machines distributed across the cloud, Haikes said.

IBM and Google have created several resources for the program, including the following:

  • A cluster of processors running an open-source version of Google's published computing infrastructure, including MapReduce and GFS from Apache's Hadoop project, a software platform that lets one easily write and run applications that process vast amounts of data.

  • A Creative Commons-licensed curriculum on parallel computing developed by Google and the University of Washington.

  • Open-source software designed by IBM to help students develop programs for clusters running Hadoop. The software works with Eclipse, an open-source development platform.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?