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Is Cloud Computing Fast Enough For Science?

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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Magellan cloud computing testbed has shown that commercially available clouds suffer in performance when operating message passing interface (MPI) applications such as weather calculations. "For the more traditional MPI applications there were significant slowdowns, over a factor of 10," says National Energy Research Scientific Computing's Kathy Yelick. However, for computations that can be performed serially, such as genomics calculations, there was little or no deterioration in performance in a commercial cloud, Yelick says.

DOE is using the Magellan project to explore a wide range of scientific issues regarding cloud computing, and to advise DOE how to incorporate cloud computing into its research. "Our goal is to inform DOE and the scientists and industry what is the sweet spot for cloud computing in science; what do you need to do to configure a cloud for science, how do to manage it, what is the business model, and do you need to buy your own cloud," Yelick says.

From Government Computer News
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