Linking 56 Raspberry Pi computers together in LEGO racks, The University of Glasgow’s Raspberry Pi Cloud project creates offers student researchers a chance to work hands-on with a platform designed to mimic a multi-million dollar commercial cloud. Via The University of Glasgow:
In recent years cloud computing has become increasingly popular, with major corporations such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft making huge investments to provide software and hardware resources to business and home computer users over the internet.
However, cloud computing service providers maintain a great deal of secrecy over how their systems work beyond the software available to end-users, making it difficult for computer science researchers and students to develop practical understanding of cloud infrastructure.
Dr Dimitrios Pezaros, Dr Jeremy Singer, Dr Posco Tso and Dr David White of the University’s School of Computing Science developed the Raspberry Pi Cloud project to broaden access to cloud computing research and education.
…Dr White added: “Before we built the Raspberry Pi Cloud, we relied on software models of how cloud data centres worked for our research and teaching. Software simulations can be valuable but they are not wholly successful at replicating the practical difficulties of running a data centre.
“What our Raspberry Pi system gives us now is a very clear correspondence between the hardware and the software, and a physical setup which is very similar to how racks of servers work in real data centres. We’ve been really inspired by having a practical model to experiment with.
“The ARM processors which are used in the Raspberry Pi are also becoming more common in cloud data centres because they require less energy to run than more traditional PC hardware, which gives our students another advantage for their future careers.
“At the moment, the Raspberry Pi Cloud is available for students to work on, but we’re keen to integrate the project more fully into our courses and make cloud computing a key part of our teaching programme.”