Monday, November 12, 2007

Yahoo! Announces Distributed Computing Academic Program

Yahoo!, who has been a key contributor to open source distributed computing framework Hadoop, today announced an academic research partership with Carnegie Mellon University that will give students access to Hadoop and other open source tools running in a supercomputing-class data center. The data center, named M45 after the Pleiades star cluster, is a 4,000-processor cluster supercomputer with 3 terabytes of memory and 1.5 petabytes of diskspace. Yahoo! claims that the M45 cluster is one of the top 50 fastest supercomputers in the world, capable of performing at 27 teraflops.

According to Yahoo!, universities have not had access to the type of hardware and software infrastructure necessary for web-scale distributed computing research. Yahoo! intends for Carnegie Mellon to be first school in a broader academic research partnership program. CMU and Yahoo! also plan to hold a Hadoop Summit in the first half of 2008, to which they say they would invite major Hadoop users such as Facebook and the University of California at Berkeley.

"Yahoo! is dedicated to working with leading universities to solve some of the most critical computing challenges facing our industry," said Ron Brachman, vice president and head of Yahoo! academic relations in a press release. "Launching this program and M45 is a significant milestone in creating a global, collaborative research community working to advance the new sciences of the Internet."

The search and portal company is following in the footsteps of rival, Google, who along with IBM announced in October that it was building a 1,600 processor data center that would be used to help teach cloud computing concepts to students at six American universities.

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