The future of cloud computing currently abounds in hypotheticals, but we’re coming closer to a concretized reality, as HP, Intel, and Yahoo, along with members of government and academia, are joining forces to create a multi-continent cloud-computing research center. The Cloud Computing Test Bed will operate six data centers on three continents. “The goal of the initiative is to promote open collaboration among industry, academia and governments by removing the financial and logistical barriers to research in data-intensive, Internet-scale computing,” says HP’s press

The companies are joining with Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. The centers are expected to be fully functional by the end of this year.
Cloud computing is now HP Lab’s main focus. It will develop platforms that will “enable technology to behave intuitively, make suggestions and take initiative," says Russ Daniels, vice president and chief technology officer for cloud computing services at HP. This will make applications easier to access and use for a much greater number.
Ideally, software will be able to optimize the user’s performance, mashups configuring themselves to best serve the user’s needs.
The Test Bed will enable researchers to experiment with large-scale application employment across several continents. It is “aimed at researchers who want to try things out at large enough scale that they experience real problems," says HP Fellow John Wilkes, one of the researchers on the project. "It's not enough to find solutions that work in a research lab under controlled conditions."
Google, IBM, and several major universities, including Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Stanford have also teamed up to develop their own cloud-computing lab.

By Mark Alvarez