Director helps develop cloud connect tool


CometCloud is a cloud-computing program that connects computers from around the world to solve problems in the fields of engineering, medicine, geology, business and physics.

Manish Parashar, the director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute, is a critical member of a team working on a piece of cloud-computing software that unites the global scientific community.

This program works by combining resources from various countries to increase the computing capability of the network, he said.

According to the RDI2 website, the research group’s goal is to start an integrated effort that plans to offer a variety of educational programs to Rutgers students, academic researchers and industry researchers.

“CometCloud is a software system that allows you to solve important challenging problems using a federated infrastructure which combines a whole bunch of resources,” Parashar said. “If I want to solve a very big problem, I may not have enough resources in one place.”

The team’s latest experiment included machines from four different countries  – the United Kingdom, Singapore, Spain and the United States, he said.

CometCloud was previously involved in a variety of experiments, which included simulations of natural gasses and oil reservoirs, business risk analyses and cancer tissue analyses, he said.

According to the Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center page, CometCloud allows users to look at results when they become available. The software also updates tasks on its own.

CometCloud can choose which computers it uses depending on the resources it needs, Parashar said.

The cost of using a computer, availability and a computer’s ability to help complete a task can all be parameters to find the appropriate resources to solve a problem, he said.

Some computers are built to handle specific data computation, he said. CometCloud matches them with other computers built for other computations.

The program works by creating a specific cloud for the task it is given, he said. The user only needs to enter their data and task  – the program will then take over from there.

According to the CAC website, the program uses subprograms that actually run the tasks. These subprograms also have the ability to create their own tasks.

Parashar said the program uses computers as they become available. Computers that go offline are dropped from the calculations while any newly available computers will be added to the cloud.

The bulk of CometCloud was created at The Applied Software Systems Laboratory, a University research center that falls under the purview of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute, he said.

“[University students can] use resources at this very large scale to address interesting problems in their work,” he said. “They can learn how to solve problems at a very computing intensive and data intensive [level].”

Students can also learn how to create cloud-computing systems, he said. The program can help them understand how to do research on a large scale using varied resources.


Nikhilesh De

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