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October 17, 2011

LBNL Looks to Clouds to Handle HPC Growth

Nicole Hemsoth

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is one of a number of research institutions that has “outsourced” basic functions, including email, ERP and human resources, to cloud service providers, including Google. However, this week the facility’s CIO, Rosio Alvarez pointed to new directions in cloud use at LBNL.

According to Alvarez, Berkeley is considering moving its high performance computing capabilities to the web. She says that the lab already is looking at a 20 percent growth rate in the general need for access to high performance computing resources each year and that this is putting great weight on their current datacenter facilities.

Alvarez said that the increased demand for access to high performance computing resources means that her office is either tasked with buying new equipment more often or looking beyond traditional datacenter operations to the clouds.

As Alvarez told Federal News Radio this week, “We are looking at ways to use cloud offerings to provide those cycles to researchers rather than bring in more hardware.” She says the evaluation process is already underway and two or three providers have been examined as possible options to handle some of LBNL’s HPC growth.

Full story at Federal News Radio