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Cloud Computing

As a historical accomplishment, USRA scientists, in support of NASA climate change research, developed the Beowulf Linux clustering approach for high availability and high performance computing using clusters of commodity hardware, and released an implementation of this approach through continuous open source release starting in 1994. The project started by developing the first Ethernet drivers for Linux (and almost Ethernet drivers through 2000), to enable network access for Linux computers, and evolved to enable networked computing across Linux computers. Beowulf systems are now deployed worldwide, supporting a range of applications where the processing is shared among the clustered computers, and this helped lead Linux to being the predominant operating system for high performance computing. USRA scientists and collaborators received the Gordon Bell Prize for high-performance computing in 1997 for this work. Current cloud computing platforms are direct descendants of this approach pioneered by USRA and NASA.


USRA staff are currently developing a model-based approach for software applications with portability across cloud and non-cloud computing platforms using open source software. A key demonstration of this approach is being developed on the NASA Nebula Cloud Computing Platform, which uses the OpenStack open source cloud computing infrastructure, in support of NASA-wide collaborative applications. This work supports the Federal Government's shift to a "Cloud First" information technology policy aimed at substantially reducing costs, rapid deployments, and improved performance.

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Cloud Computing

USRA Scientists have a worldwide reputation in advanced techniques for high performance cloud computing infrastructure, with extensive capability in use of cloud computing in the domain of scientific and engineering applications.