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Clouds of change build in the world of e-Science

Posted on 19 September 2011

The revolutionary concept of cloud computing will come under the spotlight at a major international e-Science conference at the University of York next week.

The tenth anniversary UK e-Science All Hands Meeting, Towards the Cloud – Infrastructures, Applications, Research, will bring together around 200 international delegates from industry and the academic community to discuss how new developments in technology will allow better use of software and data from research and industry – and help organisations save money.

Many companies are now relying on cloud solutions to support their businesses and universities are coming on board

Professor Jim Austin

By 2020, the cloud computing market is predicted to top $241 billion. And by the same year, large US companies using it are predicted to be able to achieve annual energy savings of $12.3 billion.

Held from 26 to 29 September in the University’s superb Ron Cooke Hub, the conference will feature keynote presentations, workshop sessions, poster presentations and demonstrations.

Its main themes will be shared infrastructures, using the cloud in research, end-user engagement and applications, including e-Science, e-social science and research in the arts and humanities.

The event will be co-chaired by Professor Jim Austin, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of York and Professor Jie Xu, from the School of Computing at the University of Leeds.

Professor Austin said: “Cloud computing is an exciting development which is now being rolled out world-wide as a major approach to cost-saving in computing. Many companies are now relying on cloud solutions to support their businesses and universities are coming on board.”

Cloud providers deliver applications via the internet which are accessed by a web browser, with business software and data being stored in servers at a remote location. Cloud provides businesses and other organisations with a means of increasing capacity or adding capabilities without the need to increase infrastructure or license new software.

Professor Xu said: “As the number of users ‘on the cloud’ increases, we need to ensure that the technology remains robust and secure. Computer scientists are well equipped to meet these challenges, as the research showcased at this conference will show.”

The event will be attended by delegates from countries including the United States, Germany and Sweden.  It has sponsorship from Microsoft Research, Esteem Ltd, Cybula Ltd, Eduserv, Engineering Task Force, the Technology Strategy Board Information and Communications Technologies Knowledge Transfer Network (ICT KTN) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as well as workshops run by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and JISC, and exhibitors UK e Research South, White Rose e-Science Centre, Microsoft and Eduserv.

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Caron Lett
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