Nasa making use of cloud computing

Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have announced that they will be looking to make use of cloud computing platforms in order to power the administration’s next generation of projects.

The news was revealed at the 2012 re:Invent conference as Nasa IT CTO, Tom Soderstrom, and software engineer, Khawaja Shams, explained that the staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are using cloud hosting platforms in order to power the Mars Curiosity rover mission.

So, not only have we proved that cloud computing could potentially help save the planet but it can also help discover other planets!

The rover has already made some fantastic discoveries on Mars and it makes use of computing and storage platforms in order to communicate with and process date gathered in the mission. This then gets sent back to mission control.

Furthermore, Tom Soderstrom and Khawaja Shams have stated that the rover was a basis whereby they will then look to move its operations completely to cloud computing services. This idea originated in 2008 when administrators ordered IT staff not to purchase any more physical servers.

In addition, Shams has been quoted saying the following: “Very soon we realised you can do secure computing in the cloud. We realised we could get a strategic advantage and mitigate the risks.”

Nasa has also outlined a number of other projects such as the storing and uploading of images through cloud platforms and offering applications to scientists as virtualised instances rather than requiring the download and compilation source code.

Soderstrom further added to Shams comments by saying: “[Thomas Edison] allowed us to think of electricity as a consumable commodity. Cloud computing to us is that same model applied to compute, network and storage needs.”

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