July 20, 2010

Physics Research Initiative Gets Boost from Cloud

Nicole Hemsoth

The famed Belle physics experiment that aims to examine the issue of why matter rather than anti-matter composes the universe was in jeopardy for its next incarnation due to server investment and maintenance costs, thus the research team looked to EC2 for a solution.

Work is currently underway on Belle II, the next version of the famous Belle particle physics experiment that is taking place at the KEK research center in Japan. The goal of this physics undertaking is to look for answers about how the universe is made from matter rather than anti-matter a project that requires significant compute capabilities. Unfortunately, the project was jeopardized due to the high costs related to buying more servers (in addition to all the associated costs with maintaining a cluster) and the researchers were forced to look to the clouds. The team settled on EC2, although one wonders if they had waited on Amazon’s new Cluster Compute Instances to emerge if this would have been their decision. The team says they looked to Microsoft and Google to provide the power needed for their tasks but found Amazon’s cloud best for their applications, in part also because they felt Amazon’s pricing structure was more flexible and transparent.

Full story at AustralianIT

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