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Geoffrey Fox, Director of Futuregrid

By Next Big Future

October 8, 2009

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The FutureGrid Program is a U.S. National Science Foundation-funded project to determine the best ways to connect supercomputers together, headed by Indiana University professor Geoffrey Fox. Fox says that FutureGrid is a component of TeraGrid, and its goal is to support the creation of new system software and applications that can be simulated to expedite the take-up of new technologies in scientific computing. To fulfill this objective, the project will construct a number of computing clusters at different sites using a refined virtual machine and a workflow-based simulation environment so that cloud computing, multicore computing, and novel algorithms and software paradigms can be explored.

"High-performance computing is becoming increasingly important to most scientific endeavors and technological development," Fox says. "There is a torrent of information being produced on a regular basis." He is confident that the vision of an exaflop supercomputer will be realized by 2020, while cloud computing will be the preeminent computing mode. He also predicts that cloud computing will be the tool through which most researchers will access massive yet cheap computing resources. Fox envisions a blend of public and private clouds, while "the data centers that run the clouds will be placed wherever it is most cost-effective to operate them."

Fox projects that within the next 10 years the most significant changes in the scientific computing field will transpire in the middle of the computing spectrum, mainly owing to a mix of cloud and multicore computing.

View a video of Dr. Fox and others discussing the FutureGrid collaboration.

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