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3/24/2008
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Yahoo Partners With Tata Sons On Cloud-Computing Research

Tata will supply its supercomputer, the fourth-fastest in the world, while Yahoo will contribute technical expertise in Apache Hadoop.

Yahoo and India-based business conglomerate Tata Sons on Monday announced an agreement to work together on cloud-computing research.

As part of the agreement, Tata subsidiary Computational Research Laboratories will make available to researchers its supercomputer. Called EKA, the system is ranked the fourth-fastest supercomputer in the world, Yahoo said.

For its part, Yahoo plans to contribute its technical expertise in Apache Hadoop, an open source distributed computing project of the Apache Software Foundation.

Cloud computing refers to the use of giant data centers to run applications that users can access from a PC or mobile device. Companies offering such Web-based software include Internet companies Google, Yahoo, and Salesforce.com. Microsoft is also launching software offered as a Web service.

The CRL supercomputer in the Yahoo/Tata project comprises 14,400 processors, 28 TB of memory, and 140 TB of disks. The system has a peak performance of 180 trillion calculations per second (teraflops) and a sustained computation capacity of 120 teraflops. The only supercomputer funded by the private sector, EKA will run the latest version of Hadoop and other Yahoo-supported, open source-distributed computing software, such as the Pig parallel programming language developed by Yahoo research.

"Launching our cloud computing program internationally with CRL is another significant milestone in creating a global, collaborative research community working to advance the new sciences of the Internet," Ron Brachman, VP and head of academic relations for Yahoo, said in a statement.

Yahoo and Tata made the announcement on the eve of the first Hadoop Summit. Sponsored by Yahoo and the Computing Community Consortium, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, the summit is expected to bring leaders from the Hadoop developer and user communities to discuss current projects and future directions of the cloud-computing environment, Yahoo said.

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