November 23, 2010
The European Union has announced that it will be funding a three-year project to examine a wide range of technical and policy-driven initiatives focused on securing clouds. The effort, called Trustworthy Clouds, or TClouds, will rely on $10.1 million from the EU with an additional estimated $4 million from contributing vendors and institutions.
This project goes far beyond mere data protection or movement issues to include other items that many enterprise cloud users often face, including working with regulatory constraints and compliance restrictions.
As Dr. Matthias Shunter, the technical lead for TClouds and IBM computer scientist noted, “with TClouds, we aim to demonstrate that the rewards in terms of both cost efficiencies and smarter services, such as healthcare and energy, can be achieved by using advanced cloud technology.”
There are a number of use cases that will form the backbone of the research, which by the way, will be published and made available to the public. These include energy companies as well as healthcare services.
European energy companies, including Energias de Portugal and EFAEC will use the project to test the migration of energy metering and monitoring systems and will seek to, as an IBM representative put it, “improve their resilience, privacy protection and tolerance, from both hackers and hardware failures.”
San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy will also be examined as a use case as researchers “test to see if it is possible to remotely monitor and diagnose patients outside of the hospital in their homes, with data stored in the cloud and accessed by patients, doctors and pharmacists.” The goal of this ultimately is not only to seek to understand secure data in the clouds that bears significant compliance issues, but to see if overall healthcare costs can be cut down using such a model.
Full story at PCWorld
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
The private industry least likely to adopt public cloud services for data storage are financial institutions. Holding the most sensitive and heavily-regulated of data types, personal financial information, banks and similar institutions are mostly moving towards private cloud services – and doing so at great cost.
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