CloudLab Gets New $9.7M Grant

September 7, 2017

Cloud Lab

Researchers with the University of Utah’s School of Computing have received a new three-year $9.7 million grant to extend work on CloudLab, a facility used by scientists to study cloud computing.

“Cloud computing” refers to the technique in which shared data and content are stored and processed in central computer servers for large numbers of people. Companies that use “the cloud” for their services include Netflix, Facebook, Apple’s iTunes and more.

CloudLab consists of three networked computer facilities at the U, Clemson University in South Carolina and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Researchers and students can test their software and applications’ cloud-based features on CloudLab as well as use the facility to develop new features for cloud computing. The U’s facility, which is the largest of the three, is run by School of Computing research associate professor Robert Ricci, research assistant professor Eric Eide, and associate professor Kobus Van der Merwe.

This new phase and additional funding from the National Science Foundation will focus on new features that are not yet available in future cloud-computing technologies, Ricci said, including giving researchers more control over the servers and new security features. He also said the grant will allow CloudLab to double in size so more students and scientists can use it. Currently, the U’s facility in downtown Salt Lake City has nearly 600 servers. Collectively, all three university facilities have aided 470 projects and have run about 50,000 experiments in the last three years.

With this new grant, “we are going to be able to support more researchers on larger clouds and give them more control,” Ricci said.

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