Access to massive computing resources is foundational to Research and Development. Fifteen awardees of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Cluster Exploratory Service (CLuE) program have been applying large scale computational resources donated by Google and IBM.

Overall, 1,328 researchers have used the cluster to perform over 120 million computing tasks on the cluster and in the process, have published 49 scientific publications, educated thousands of students on parallel computing and supported numerous post-doctoral candidates in their academic careers. Researchers have used the program for such diverse fields as astronomy, oceanography and linguistics. Besides validating MapReduce as a useful tool in academic research, the program has also generated significant scientific knowledge.

Three years later, there are many viable, affordable alternatives to the Academic Cloud Computing Initiative, so we have decided to bring our part of the program to a close. It has been a great opportunity to collaborate with IBM, the NSF and the many universities on this program. It was state-of-the-art four years ago when it was started; now, Academic Cloud Computing is a worldwide phenomena and there are many low-cost cloud computing options that provide viable alternatives to the Academic Cloud Computing Initiative.