(May 7, 2014) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio announced today that the Cloud and BigData Laboratory in the UTSA College of Sciences is launching one of the largest Open Clouds in academia with initial 6,600 COREs utilizing OpenStack software, co-founded by Rackspace and Open Compute hardware, founded by Facebook, to support advanced computing and big-data analytics research.
The UTSA Cloud and BigData Laboratory, with more than 20 doctoral students, is devoted to the research of new technologies and innovations in various areas of computing such as OpenStack integrated with a Low Latency Interconnect and High Performance Cloud, Cyber Security, Hybrid and Federated Cloud, ZeroVM and BigData Analytics. The laboratory was built in collaboration with industry partners such as Rackspace, Open Compute Project Communities, Mellanox, Internet2 and many others.
"We believe Open Compute, OpenStack and Software Defined Data Center are going to be the next computing platforms to support all of the emerging cloud and big data technologies," said C. Mauli Agrawal, UTSA vice president for research. "These partnerships with OpenStack, ZeroVM and Open Compute communities will create research and educational leadership opportunities for UTSA, San Antonio and across Texas."
The primary goals for the laboratory include:
"I want to congratulate UTSA on their hard work in making the Cloud and Big Data lab a reality," said John Engates, CTO of Rackspace. "Combining the intellectual and technological resources of UTSA, the Open Compute Project and Rackspace's expertise in running open technologies, the collaboration will help further position San Antonio as a technology hub and a leader in solving some of the most complex computing challenges in an open and transparent way. By embracing open technologies such as OpenStack and Open Compute, schools like UTSA give their students an advantage in the tech world. I know the students, the city and the world will receive the benefits of this major achievement."
The UTSA laboratory researchers are building the cloud using a multiple cell concept. Each cell consists of compute, storage and network nodes that are built using the Open Compute hardware, and OpenStack software with bursting capability to public clouds. Theoretically, the Open Compute hardware and the OpenStack software would both allow for flexibility in adapting the systems to changing engineering and scientific application requirements.
"We are partnering with industry leaders to expand our academic and research focus to include the cutting-edge technologies and the problems that are significant to industry," said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. "We want to continue to foster adoption of open technologies and make it easier to deploy open standard-based big data and cloud solutions."
"In virtualized environments, Mellanox InfiniBand and 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet interconnect solutions with RDMA and SR-IOV technologies accelerate hypervisor performance by offloading tasks that are critical for large-scale workloads," said Kevin Deierling, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "We are pleased to partner with The University of Texas at San Antonio and extend our research in the convergence of high-performance computing and low-latency cloud architectures to improve performance, efficiency and scalability."
"As a leading provider of open data center switches, Edge-Core Networks welcomes UTSA's research into SDN and cloud infrastructures built on open hardware," said Min Chou, president of Edge-Core Networks. "We are pleased to donate our 1GbE and 10GbE top-of-rack switches to the Cloud and Big Data Lab that will support a range of switchOS, SDN, and cloud orchestration software and infrastructure designs."
"Currently, the most pressing technology demand across all major industries comes within the arena of cloud and data analytics, particularly meeting these application needs in the form of converged infrastructures," said Julia Shih, director of strategic alliance, AMAX. "We are very excited to combine UTSA's research capabilities with AMAX's expertise in OpenStack converged cloud infrastructures to meet and exceed this demand, not only in the form of highly-efficient and modular data center solutions, but also with our Open Compute platforms integrated with GPUs designed for high performance parallel computing."
"As a long-standing supporter of the Open Compute Platform, we are excited to see our initial contributions evolve and help lay the foundation for the first North American open computing testing laboratory," said Reza Malekzadeh, vice president of business at Cumulus Networks. "UTSA's work in conjunction with the OpenStack and Open Compute projects will help to standardize open compute hardware development, making it easier for companies to adopt these technologies within their own infrastructures while preparing students and engineers for the future demands in IT."
"The University of Texas at San Antonio has done a magnificent job bringing together industry, higher education and the research community to create this open-compute lab as a research hub for high-performance computing," said Steve Wolff, Internet2 chief technology officer. "This endeavor will provide unique services via OpenStack to advance research, scholarship and practice for health care and other sectors. The Internet2 community looks forward to using this new open-source resource for high-performance computing."
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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