Cloud Computing Goes Global

Three far-flung research organizations have joined the cloud computing test bed run by Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Yahoo. The locations of these new converts--in Russia, South Korea, and Malaysia--provide more evidence that cloud computing is quickly becoming a global phenomenon.
HP, Intel, and Yahoo announced their Open Cirrus cloud computing test bed last year with a goal of promoting collaboration among businesses, government agencies, and colleges and universities. More than 50 research projects are now plugged into Open Cirrus. The newcomers are the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in South Korea, and MIMOS in Malaysia.

Earlier this week, I talked to Willy Chiu, VP of IBM's Cloud Labs and high performance on-demand solutions. Chiu and team have built IBM cloud labs in China, Japan, Korea, Ireland, South Africa, India, Brazil, and Vietnam, in addition to in the United States. As a result, many of IBM's early cloud computing customers are based in those countries.

While much of the leading-edge work on cloud computing is happening in the United States--where Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and other leading tech vendors are introducing cloud services and capabilities at breakneck pace--businesses in other parts of the world are discovering the cloud, too. Here's a quick recap of some of what's going on around the globe, courtesy of IBM and the HP-Intel-Yahoo triad.

Russia: Three groups within the Russian Academy of Sciences are using Open Cirrus. The Institute for System Programming plans to conduct research in the area of system programming; the Joint Super Computer Center will run biological, nanotech, 3D modeling, and other apps in the cloud; and the Russian Research Center's Kurchatov Institute will apply cloud computing to large-scale data processing.

South Korea: The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute will use Open Cirrus for R&D with massive data sets.

Malaysia: MIMOS plans to develop a national cloud computing platform to deploy services in Malaysia.

Vietnam: Vietnam Technology and Telecommunications is using an IBM cloud center to provide training, consulting and support.

China: The Wang Fu Jing department store chain, one of China’s largest retailers, is using supply chain management and other IBM cloud services for its network of retail stores. Separately, the city of Wuxi is using an IBM cloud for testing and development.

IBM customers and partners also have projects underway in Qatar, South Africa, East Africa, and Japan, ranging from oil discovery to pharmaceutical research. Of course, companies in Europe are on the cloud adoption curve as well, as local service providers, Amazon, and others offer a growing number of options for keeping data local in compliance with European law.

As cloud computing expands around the world, it's interesting to see what opportunities companies are pursuing and what problems they're looking to solve. At the same time, look for early adopters to encounter new challenges in the areas such as security, data governance, and interoperability.

BY John Foley

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