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UK Universities Launch Cloud Supercomputer For Hire 25

judgecorp writes "Cambridge University and Imperial College London have combined forces to make a cloud-based supercomputer service. Supercomputers have traditionally not been shared this way, but CORE — the biggest Intel-based HPC system in the UK, and in the top 100 supercomputers in the world — will be available on a pay-per-use basis by industry, small businesses and other academic bodies."
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UK Universities Launch Cloud Supercomputer For Hire

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  • by AaxelB ( 1034884 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @08:51AM (#40516357)
    So... how much are they charging?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now the pricing for cracking passwords will go down.

  • by kurt555gs ( 309278 ) <kurt555gs&ovi,com> on Monday July 02, 2012 @09:05AM (#40516453) Homepage

    I wonder if this thing will make Bitcoins at a greater rate than they charge? Capitalism in it's purist form!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Score! Now I'll finally be able to run the Visual Studio GUI with decent performance.

  • How is this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @09:22AM (#40516555)
    How is this any different from renting time on other supercomputer systems? Is it special because they added the word cloud to the mix? I mean seriously why are we using this stupid marketing term in any discussion about computers these days. I don't know how many times my clients ask me about the 'cloud' and I have to explain that all that means is you're storing your data or using the computing power of a remote server. It's a misleading and uninformative term like most marketing lingo. I think most people are starting to think we have found some new way to store data in actual clouds.
    • It is marketing lingo. The only important factor I can see distinguishing the cloud is that it abstracts away the physical infrastructure a bit more. Your code still has to execute on a physical processor somewhere, but as a customer you don't need to worry about exactly where this might be. It's much more dynamic, allowing the cloud operator to perform better optimisation and load-balancing. They might decide to relocate a bunch of their client's data from one continent to another, and the client wouldn't
      • by XSpud ( 801834 )

        ... if you're running an internet flourist, it must be nice to be able to contact the cloud operator when february nears and be able to just rent a few more servers for a week.

        Pancake day must be quite an event in your part of the world - over here most people get by with what they already have in the cupboard.

    • It is special because they really need to dump the last generation computer off on somebody so they can afford to run the new one. STFC has just paid for some new computers for physics, and one of them is in Cambridge. What they haven't done (at least here in Leicester) is paid for the electricity.

      Basically this is universities holding an electronic car boot sale because they are down on funding.

    • Yup, summary needs a little sed magic:
      s/\ not\ /\ always\ /
    • by Shagg ( 99693 )

      I think most people are starting to think we have found some new way to store data in actual clouds.

      Not until "Cloud 2.0"!

  • Question - How many Imperial grads does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Answer - Only one, but they'd do it just as well as someone who went to Oxford or Cambridge.

  • This sounds just like the former teragrid [] and open science grid [] projects. Both of which saw reasonable useage from the scientific community. These things worked well for two reasons, one it is easy to get time on them for small research groups. Second, they allowed cluster owners to offer up idle cpu time to the project. A net win for every one.
    • It's nothing like TG. TG systems basically gave all their cycles away for free through the work of the Resource Allocation Committee--a peer-review body that met quarterly to review proposals and give out allocations of time. This work continues through the XD program under the auspices of XSEDE [].
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Those were grids. This is a cloud.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"