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Cloud computing chalks up new milestone

Cloud computing chalks up new milestone
A team of experts have created a supercomputer cloud capable of solving the world’s toughest computing tasks. And what’s more, they can operate it from an iPad.

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A team of experts have created a supercomputer cloud capable of solving the world’s toughest computing tasks. And what’s more, they can operate it from an iPad.

Rutgers (the State University of New Jersey) professor of electrical and computer engineering Manish Parashar says the team mixed and matched computing resources, integrating them into a virtual cloud to operate as a single large computer.

“Our goal is to make these federated, high-performance computing clouds more useful to industry,” he says.

Until now, if a single supercomputer couldn’t provide enough power for a complex task, two or more computers had to be linked together. Creating a cloud solves that problem.

In a demonstration, all run off hand-held Apple iPad tablets, Parashar worked with experts at IBM and the University of Texas to solve a real-world problem: how to extract as much oil as possible from an oil field.

The team constructed a graphic representation of rock properties in an oil field, with the possibility of higher oil flow at redder points and lower flow at bluer points.

IBM’s Kirk Jordan, professor of computer science at Rutgers, says: “Oil reservoir optimisation is one of the most demanding applications in computing."

“Modelling the systems requires simulating complex physics and exploring large numbers of parameters.”

The team brought home first place in the IEEE SCALE 2011 Challenge, a contest run by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in the US.