Right on the heels of Amazon’s groundbreaking news on the Cluster Compute instances a couple of days ago, comes this announcement about a partnership between CENIC, Pacific NorthWest GigaPoP (PNWGP), and Amazon: two 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps) connections to Amazon S3 and EC2. This connection will be available to CENIC and PNWGP member institutions (educational and research institutions on the West Coast and in the Pacific North-West) — among others, the many ocean scientists of the Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) who we are working with to develop cloud-based scientific infrastructure.
In other words, we can now not only use IaaS to lease supercomputers – we can move data to those supercomputers fast. While so far these high-speed connections to Amazon are not generally available, it will be interesting to see what scientists will be able to do with them, what performance will be achievable in practice, and how it will change the scientific use of cloud computing. That’s two great developments for cloud computing for science in one week – it seems that the pace of progress on this front is accelerating ;-).