Will the cloud bring supercomputing to the masses?

The idea behind cloud computing is to bring the power of supercomputers to more people, according to a senior researcher.

cloud computing

There may still be arguments around the definition of the cloud, and even the security, but a senior figure in computer research today claimed it was the key to bringing more computing power to the masses.

Dr Andrew Herbert, managing director ofMicrosoft's research labs in Cambridge, said the explosion in data growth since the birth of the internet has led to more people needing more compute power.

"One of the things the internet has given us is access to tremendous amounts of data," he said during a keynote speech at a labs open day.

"In the world of physics, whilst thelarge hadron collider is a fantastic engineering project in its own right... their bigger challenge is actually computing all the data as it is detected by the sensors and boiling that down."

He claimed that the traditional way to tackle this would be to go out and buy yourself a supercomputer. However, cloud computing will negate the need to do this.

"Part of the vision of cloud computing is to make computing on that scale available to anyone from any device," said Herbert.

"Now that could be a device like the next generation of mobile devices such as smartphones."

However, the main point was for varieties of businesses to be able to scale up their capacity and computer power to solve a problem without having to build a new data centre.

Herbert concluded that enabling this ability for more people was high on the agenda at Microsoft Research.

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