My photo

Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What the cloud *really* means for science

[Looking forward to this presentation by Ian Foster. I couldn’t agree more. There are number of projects working on developing a common set of collaborative tools for commercial clouds to be used by researchers such as the OOI at UCSD, COINS at SURFnet, etc. SURFnet has also taken on the responsibility to negotiate with all commercial cloud providers on behalf of the science and education community in the Netherlands to develop common standards on privacy, federated identity, attributes, etc. For more details please see -- BSA]

What the cloud *really* means for science
Ian Foster's Blog
Nah, I'm not going to tell you here ... that is the title of a talk I will give in Indianapolis on December 1st, at the CloudCom conference. But here's the abstract:
We've all heard about how on-demand computing and storage will transform scientific practice. But by focusing on resources alone, we're missing the real benefit of the large-scale outsourcing and consequent economies of scale that cloud is about. The biggest IT challenge facing science today is not volume but complexity. Sure, terabytes demand new storage and computing solutions. But they're cheap. It is establishing and operating the processes required to collect, manage, analyze, share, archive, etc., that data that is taking all of our time and killing creativity. And that's where outsourcing can be transformative. An entrepreneur can run a small business from a coffee shop, outsourcing essentially every business function to a software-as-a-service provider--accounting, payroll, customer relationship management, the works. Why can't a young researcher run a research lab from a coffee shop? For that to happen, we need to make it easy for providers to develop "apps" that encapsulate useful capabilities and for researchers to discover, customize, and apply these "apps" in their work. The effect, I will argue, will be a dramatic acceleration of discovery.
November 02, 2010 | Permalink

twitter: BillStArnaud
skype: Pocketpro