Reservoir funds flood cloud computing research

7 Feb 2008

A joint research initiative between IBM and 13 European partners will sink €17m into RESERVOIR (Resources and Services Virtualisation without Barriers), a research project aimed at developing technologies that will support cloud computing, or computing services accessed as needed through the internet rather than just being available from a single computer or server.

Cloud computing essentially involves individuals using a shared infrastructure to access IT services and is driven, says IBM, by the growth in recent years of Web 2.0 technologies like social networking, mash-ups and open collaboration.

“You can think of cloud computing as the internet operating system for business and RESERVOIR as pioneering technologies that will enable people to access the cloud of services in an efficient and cost effective way,” said Dr Yaron Wolfsthal, senior manager of system technologies at the IBM Research Lab in Haifa, Israel.

This technology is built upon a network of ‘cloud’ servers, which are interconnected in a grid-like manner to represent one massive unified grid. The research being conducted by IBM and EU partner organisations would essentially help automate services within this cloud.

IBM has been researching cloud computing for over ten years among its software, services, servers and research and development units, with the latest development, Blue Cloud, revealed in November 2007.

Blue Cloud is set to offer services that will allow corporate data centres to work less like a data centre and more like the internet in terms of simplicity and data organisation.

“With demand for IT resources hard to predict, service providers usually over-provision resources in order to support peak demands and ensure continuous service availability and quality, while other systems run at lower capacity,” said Wolfsthal.

“But with RESERVOIR, our aim is to provide cloud-computing-based technologies that will enable the borderless delivery of IT services based on actual demands to keep costs competitive.”

By Marie Boran