HP, Intel, Yahoo Join Google, IBM in the Cloud

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-07-29 Print this article Print

Similar to the joint cloud computing partnership between Google and IBM, HP, Intel and Yahoo are creating open source cloud computing test beds to facilitate wide-scale computing in the world.

See eWEEK reporter Scott Ferguson's breaking coverage of the agreement, which will let users write and test software in the cloud, or on the Internet, here.

Here are the high-level nuts and bolts: The systems vendor, chipmaker and Internet portal are teaming with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany for this effort, which include six data centers as test beds for cloud computing research.

HP is supplying the servers and Intel is offering 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores. Yahoo engineers will leverage this hardware to run Apache Hadoop, the open source distributed computing system based on Google's MapReduce, as well as the Yahoo Pig parallel programming language, to test Internet-scale software infrastructure and applications.

The companies said the test beds will be accessible to researchers through a selection process later this year.

The goal is help promote collaboration in cloud computing among industry, academia and governments. At first blush, this is similar, but broader in scope to what Google and IBM first announced in December 2006.

In the fruit of that arrangement, Google and IBM provide servers and open-source software to help students and researchers at  University of Washington, Carnegie-Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland test parallel computing for the Web.

The partnership between Google and IBM appears to be limited to academia within the U.S. I have to wonder if Google and IBM won't at some point join HP, Intel and Yahoo.

Surely, IBM and HP can put down their systems vendor differences just as Google and Yahoo managed to do for search advertising in June.
Having all five companies on board would take cloud computing to new heights. It could also help Google and Yahoo bolster their cloud computing leads over Microsoft, which has been curiously quiet on the cloud front.

I wouldn't expect Microsoft to join Google and IBM in what seems to be a more closed university endeavor between the two companies. This wasn't a bad thing... until HP, Intel and Yahoo took the cloud concept global today.

This global test bed effort is something that I might have expected Microsoft to join. Microsoft is already tight with HP and Intel through years of partnerships. I wonder if Yahoo decided not to invite the software giant out of discontent over the recent Microhoo skirmishes.

Maybe Yahoo had no plans to invite any other Internet software maker, or maybe Microsoft declined to join to keep to itself. Microsoft has been known to keep to itself where it doesn't agree with a group's approach.

Google and IBM have the cloud computing head start, with the companies churning out parallel programming engineers who will fill their ranks in the next five years. HP, Intel and Yahoo will soon do the same.

When will Microsoft join the broader cloud computing fray?

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