|Posted on May 25, 2011 12:02:06 AM | Adrian Gardner | 0 Comments ||
Today, more than ever, is the ideal time for the Federal Government to focus on improving operating inefficiencies and reducing the costs of IT investments as opposed to spending over $80 billion per year as it has done in the past. One alternative- which Federal Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, strives to implement in his 25-point plan for IT Reform - is a “Cloud First Policy.” This policy requires that agencies default to cloud-based solutions whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists. This will ultimately improve operating inefficiencies and overall service delivery for Federal agencies.
In December 2010, NASA’s Ames Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center collaborated to spearhead efforts to provide cloud computing as a viable option to NASA scientists and engineers.
NASA’s computing strategy involves various technologies to include Cloud Computing (CC). Currently, NASA has invested in the OpenStack software for CC and is working to operationalize a specific version of this software, which NASA calls Nebula. The Nebula CC software will provide NASA personnel, who need a private CC solution, with IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service); later implementations of Nebula will offer PaaS (Platform as a Service).
NASA is also working on various technologies that support the conservation of energy (i.e., so-called Green Technologies) and the environment (i.e., so-called Clean Technologies) such as containerized computing, which offers energy efficiency, a compact footprint, dense computing power, and reduces the demand for computing facilities within buildings. A few other technologies, which NASA has as part of its computing strategy are:
· Thin-client, zero-client, and remote thick-client technologies;
· Data-center consolidations;
· Server consolidations via virtual computing environments (VCEs) and CC environments (CCEs);
· Implementing Green Technologies and Clean Technologies in new building endeavors as well as renovations of existing buildings;
· Computing-environment consolidations;
· Smart manufacturing environments that provide improved capabilities, availability, safety, reliability, and agility; and
· An IT Storefront concept, which provides a mechanism for allowing customers and users to specify their needs in their terms and let the underlying storefront software select a best-practice solution. This may be a CC solution, a mobility solution, a thick- or thin-client solution, or a combination of these or something else.
Either way, utilization of these technologies will not only help NASA’s personnel to focus more on their missions and less on computing infrastructures; but it will also help the Agency to accrue benefits from innovations, improve resource utilization, and ultimately lead to sustainability that is critical in our current fiscal environment.
In the upcoming months, I'm excited to see the how CC will play a role in our science here at Goddard Space Flight Center. Eventually, the phrase, take it to the Cloud, will be commonly iterated amongst our scientists and engineers.
Tags : General