NASA moves to the international cloud


NASA and Japan’s NII (National Institute of Informatics) are going to explore various possibilities of connecting the NASA nebula and NII cloud computing platform in hopes of sharing large space related data sets through a web application.

This event is a first for NASA as it takes steps to create a process for interoperabilitiy in the cloud for exchange of data sets that will benefit the international science community. The effort was launched on June 3rd at the NII open house event in Tokyo where NASA’s CTO Chris Kemp demonstrated how the Nebula and NII cloud infrastructure jointly served up Mars Orbiter data sets via a web application.

“By demonstrating how cloud interoperability can facilitate international collaboration and seamless global access to public data, NASA hopes to accelerate the development of cloud standards and the adoption of cloud infrastructure services by the scientific community,” said Kemp.

The NASA Nebula and NII cloud sytsems are based on open-source software and use open-data API’s for interexchange of data. “The interoperability between an NII Cloud and the NASA Nebula Cloud is a combined effort toward the creation of an International academic-information infrastructure, which is essential in promoting the global cooperation of research and education,” said Masao Sakauchi, NII’s director general. “The interoperability of this cloud infrastructure will make it possible to create new academic activities by enabling the software and content to be shared amongst researchers, faculties, and students worldwide.”

NASA Nebula is a Cloud Computing service developed by the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., that provides high performance computing, network, and data storage services to NASA scientists and researchers. Nebula allows NASA to share and process large scientific data sets and was one of three flagship projects highlighted in NASA’s Open Government Directive.

Japan’s NII Cloud provides cloud platform services to Japan’s academic and research community. Like Nebula, the NII cloud is developed using open source technologies. By focusing on partnerships and other joint efforts with universities and research institutions throughout Japan, as well as industries and civilian organizations, NII creates state-of-the-art information infrastructure to support education within Japan’s broader academic and research community.

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