Yahoo Teams with Academia to Boost Cloud Computing

Yahoo has announced expanded partnerships with four U.S. universities to advance cloud computing research.

Yahoo has announced expanded partnerships with four U.S. universities to advance cloud computing research.

The four universities include the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which will join Carnegie Mellon University in using Yahoo's cloud computing cluster to conduct large-scale systems software research and explore new applications that analyze Internet-scale data sets, ranging from voting records to online news sources, Yahoo officials said.

Yahoo and school officials said academic researchers have had limited access to Internet-scale supercomputers for conducting systems and applications research. To help alleviate this, Yahoo is granting these four universities access to the Yahoo cloud computing cluster. The Yahoo cluster, also known as M45, has been operational since November 2007 and in use by Carnegie Mellon. The cluster has approximately 4,000 processor-cores and 1.5 petabytes of disks.

"We have been using the Yahoo cluster for more than a year now and have made significant progress in a number of key research areas, resulting in the publication of more than two dozen academic papers," said Randal Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. "Our researchers were able to extract and process documents from the Web in a way that was not possible before, changing the way we think about research problems. We were also able to conduct research over a corpus of 200 million Web pages, processing two orders of magnitude more data. We conducted systems software research, comparing, for example, the performance of the Hadoop file system and other parallel file systems. The simultaneous access to applications and systems software has been a real benefit and we look forward to our continued partnership with Yahoo and joint contributions to the cloud computing community."

"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. "The ability to access and analyze massive data sets is becoming increasingly crucial to the advancement of Internet-related computer science and cross-disciplinary research. By expanding our university-facing cloud computing program to partner with more universities, we hope to catalyze data-intensive computing research, furthering our commitment to the global, collaborative research community advancing the new sciences of the Internet."