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Cloud Essential to R&D in Australia: NICTA.

Computerworld Australia (12/10/10) Chloe Herrick

National ICT Australia (NICTA) is using cloud computing to access computational and storage resources at an unprecedented scale. “The ability to process literally billions and billions of records of data at a very short completion time means we can conduct science experiments in particular domains that we haven’t been able to do so before,” says NICTA principal research leader Anna Liu. “The other value of cloud computing is we can use it right now, we do not necessarily have to spend a lot of time to secure a large infrastructure grant in order to build up our own compute clusters and then to do science experiments with it.” Microsoft recently announced a partnership with NICTA, the Australian National University, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to provide the organizations with three years of free access to Microsoft’s Windows Azure Cloud computing platform. “What we need to do, is let scientists be scientists, they don’t want to be system administrators, they want to focus on the science and be able to access very large amounts of data and the tools to analyze that data in easy ways, and they want to be able to do it from their desktop,” says Microsoft Research director Dennis Gannon.

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