CERN Collaborates With Rackspace
July 1, 2013

CERN Collaborates With Rackspace For ‘Big Bang’ Hybrid Cloud

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

Cloud computing is attempting to boldly go farther than computing systems have gone before, on a mission to discover the origins of the universe. CERN openlab will use Raskspace to deliver a hybrid cloud solution under a year-long agreement.

The CERN openlab project, which provides a framework to test and validate information technologies, will work together with Rackspace to provide a handful of joint initiatives that focus on creating a reference architecture and operational model for federated cloud services between the Rackspace Private Cloud, Rackspace Public Cloud, and CERN's OpenStack powered clouds.

"This is a landmark moment for Rackspace, as we feel this is an opportunity to take our already beneficial relationship with CERN to new heights," said Rackspace Private Cloud SVP and general manager Jim Curry, in a statement. "Through ongoing collaboration with CERN openlab, we will broaden the global reach of our hybrid cloud solutions, while simultaneously helping to set the pace of innovation within the field of particle physics."

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has a group of engineers and physicists working toward a better understanding of the universe through science and technology. "This includes conducting ground-breaking experiments to study the basic constituents of matter - the fundamental particles. By using some of the largest and most powerful particle accelerators in the world, including its Large Hadron Collider (LHC)," read the statement.

Cloud storage helps CERN, and other researcher facilities, store and share mass amounts of data. CERN produces more than 25 petabytes of data annually, which would require vast resources to store on site. Rackspace makes a business of data storage, and can more efficiently house and manage data stored under this contract. CERN will use OpenStack software to manage resources across two data centers that power the LHC.

This is the second venture between CERN and Rackspace. Rackspace previously delivered a solution for CERN to bring workloads into the public cloud. The new Rackspace Private Cloud platform will be deployed on servers that CERN uses for production physics experiments.

Two elements of the new service agreement include Federated Cloud Services (based on OpenStack Cloud Technologies) and personnel support. Rackspace will work with CERN openlab to federate CERN's current managed services into Rackspace's open public and private cloud environments. One full-time member of the CERN personnel team will be funded by Rackspace to support the initiative and create cloud federation technologies.

"That makes the program - as well as potential future business - extremely significant for Rackspace," Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told RedOrbit. "But it should also cast a favorable light on the company's leadership in OpenStack which is likely to garner additional interest and support as a result of the CERN pilot."

Twenty years ago, CERN decided to make its World Wide Web software freely available.

"We definitely see great value in open source technologies like OpenStack. They foster continuous technological improvements through community contributions, while also giving us the ability to quickly address challenges, such as massive scaling, by leveraging the work of others," said Tim Bell, infrastructure manager in the IT department at CERN.

"We're excited to partner with Rackspace in the CERN openlab framework, as we look for ways to accelerate our innovation on top of an OpenStack-based hybrid cloud."