The National Science Foundation (NSF) yesterday released a report on its support for cloud computing, describing the outcomes of “investments in cloud computing research, recommendations for research focus and program improvements, and other related recommendations.”
Emphasizing the role of cloud computing — “a vital area of national importance that requires further research and development” — the report highlights some of the 125 cloud computing research awards issued by NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate between 2009 and 2011, spanning areas of architecture, algorithms, big data, security and privacy, green computing, and so on. Among these are the set of awards enabled by a partnership between NSF and Microsoft over the company’s Windows Azure cloud service.
The report concludes (following the link):
As recognized by both NIST [the National Institute of Standards and Technology] and the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, cloud computing is an area vital to the economic growth and competitiveness of the nation. The CISE community has responded vigorously to the challenge, as evidenced by the wide range of research efforts underway that are supported by numerous programs throughout the CISE Directorate.
For the most part, the research directions already under exploration by the CISE research community were arrived at naturally, without specific emphasis on cloud computing by NSF. With a few exceptions, these projects already address the critica l areas identified at the PI Meeting on the Science of Cloud Computing. The remaining gaps include some areas noted by NIST as barriers to adoption. These critical areas were included in the CISE/CNS [Computer and Networked Systems] Division Core Program Solicitation for FY 2012, which included Cloud Computing as a “Highlighted Area” for its Computer Systems Research (CSR) program.
And it offers prospects for the future:
The [Computer and Information Science and Engineering] CISE directorate is currently considering future directions for cloud computing research under the working title Science and Engineering of Cloud Computing (SECC). SECC is intended to address the important questions of how to design correct and efficient Future Cloud Systems,rather than how to utilize existing cloud systems. Thus, this research represents collaboration between the following five technical areas:
1. Computer Systems, which is supported by the CNS program Computer Systems Research (CSR)
2. Networks, which are supported by the CNS program Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS)
3. Security (including cryptography), which is supported by the CISE program Trustworthy Computing (TC) and by the CCF program Algorithmic Foundations (AF)
4. Computer Architecture and Software, which are supported by the CCF program Software and Hardware Foundations (SHF)
5. Databases and Data-Intensive Computing, which are supported by the IIS program Information Integration and Informatics (III)
It is believed that a focused effort to bring these research communities together will best serve the need expressed by NIST and others to develop and mature the science of cloud computing…
Future solicitations will seek additional research in these areas as appropriate. NSF anticipates that the CISE directorate will continue its support for Cloud Computing in future years, primarily driven by the CNS Division, with participation by CCF [the Division of Computing and Communication Foundations], IIS [the Division of Information & Intelligent Systems], the Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI), and other Directorates or Offices as appropriate.
To learn more, read the full report.
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)