Cloud computing

By Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research.

The Research Software Engineering (RSE) Cloud Computing Awards, supported by Microsoft, enable RSEs to explore, educate and extend cloud computing for researchers.

Cloud computing has become a very popular paradigm in computing in general and increasingly in the more demanding field of scientific computing. The RCUK Cloud Working Group has over the last 2 years initiated a series of community events and discussions to help researchers access and exploit cloud computing for their work. One early realisation is the need for practical advice as to how build an application that can be deployed across multiple clouds.

Cloud computing proposals wanted for Internet of Things research

By Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research

By Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research

When people talk about big data, data science and streaming data from devices, it can seem pretty scary. It conjures up images of complex IT infrastructure, many different systems to be stitched together, and requiring expertise beyond most researchers’ comfort zone. You certainly need to think about what you’re trying to do, but with cloud computing you can create what you need easily through a web portal, script or program. For example, researchers at the University of Oxford have taken their machine learning prototype from the lab, processing…

The RCUK Cloud Working Group are hosting this workshop to bring to together researchers and technical specialists to share their experiences in the application of cloud computing technology for the research community.   The meeting will include presentations from a range of research domains including particle physics, the environmental sciences, medical research and bioinformatics.

On 15-17 July 15-17, the FP7 HARNESS project will be hosting a cloud computing oriented Software Carpentry workshop at the SAP headquarters in Feltham, near London Heathrow. Software Carpentry's mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. This free hands-on workshop will extend the typical curriculum of task automation, modular programming, and version control with additional modules on cloud computing, including deployment, configuration, and management of virtual machines.…

Following two fantastic Azure for Research courses at Oxford eResearch Centre and the University of Manchester, Microsoft Research is holding its next free hands-on training event for academic researchers interested in cloud computing on May 7-8, 2014 at Eulerzaal, CWI, Amsterdam Science Park, Netherlands. To register free, visit the registration site

To read about what the course is like, check out Philip Fowler’s excellent summary of the Oxford course (Philip is a Fellow of the Institute).

The program includes a variety of hands-on labs covering Linux (and…

By Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research

There’s a lot of talk about cloud computing, but what does it really mean for researchers? Of course, it’s not about the technology, but what we are trying to achieve with it. This varies enormously across disciplines, teams, and individual researchers, but the same stories come back time and time again: meeting paper deadlines, reproducible research, data sharing, and now big data.

What is cloud computing exactly? Well, it can be defined in different ways, but from a researcher’s perspective a nice way of summing it up is:

By Philip Fowler, Software Sustainability Institute Fellow and Postdoctoral researcher, University of Oxford.   Windows Azure is a collection of large datacenters scattered around the world (my nearest is in Ireland). By logging into the Azure portal you can spin up websites, virtual machines or even something more sophisticated, like a cloud service, in a matter of minutes. Microsoft use it as their common infrastructure, for example Azure now hosts all the Skype servers.   Anyone, not just Microsoft, can use Azure, although you will need to pay (by the minute as it turns out -…
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