Thursday, April 5, 2012

Computing Now Archive: May'13 "HPC, Grid, and Cloud: The Synergy Within"

I'm collecting here an archive of the Computing Now monthly themes and hope you find it valuable*.


May 2013: HPC, Grid, and Cloud: The Synergy Within by Art Sedighi

Rather than treat grid, cloud, and high-performance computing (HPC) as separate and distinct approaches, this month's CN theme focuses more on interoperability among these methodologies — and the issues that arise along the way. More...



April 2013: How Green is Your IT? by San Murugesan

Climate change is a reality, and its main cause is manmade greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2). IT professionals and the IT industry are now called upon not only to make IT systems and their work practices greener but also to harness IT's power to address the growing environmental and social problems we face. We can make a difference by harnessing green IT and embracing it in various areas of enterprise and personal activities. In this issue, Computing Now presents a glimpse of the progress and prospects of green IT. More...


March 2013Era of Agile and Always-Available Data Storage by Sundara Nagarajan

The only component of the data center that continues to grow in size and number, storage is a fascinating area of computing. Enterprise IT leaders continue to seek maximum efficiency in organizing and operating their data centers. As IT has become the business technology of modern enterprises, the unavailability of data for even a short duration has become unacceptable. Meanwhile, IT workers are tasked daily with solving increasingly sophisticated business problems for which the central theme is often a massive amount of data. In day-to-day life, only a small amount of data is hot — data to which the user needs immediate access (emails that arrived today, for example) — whereas a lot of data is cold (not needed for immediate access — as with emails that arrived 2 years ago). That said, a small portion of the cold data can turn hot suddenly on demand, which can introduce difficult hurdles when dealing with massive scale regarding data and users. More...

February 2013: The Education Issue by George K. Thiruvathukal

I've had a multifaceted career in computing — a term that I note is different from the discipline commonly known as computer science. I began as a software developer/engineer, working in the areas of printing/publishing and telecommunications equipment. After completing my doctoral studies and "making the transition" as a postdoctoral scientist, my focus shifted to a hybrid mix of research, development, and...education. An esteemed colleague of mine posits that everything we do in our research should, in one way or another, inform the education — and vice versa. Based on my rather nonlinear career, it's safe to say that I agree with him by having tried to do it all (sometimes successfully). More...

January 2013: Toward a Science of Security by Munindar P. Singh

Over the past few decades, security research has garnered increasing attention and funding. Despite much effort, however, current security practice conveys an ad hoc flavor — find a bug; patch it; find the next bug; and so on. This methodology is sometimes termed engineering, though only in the narrow sense of developing solutions to specific problems. More...

December 2012: Social Multimedia Communication by Christian Timmerer

In the past, users generally consumed multimedia content in a passive manner without any interaction. Today, universal access to multimedia is technically feasible anywhere, anytime, and with any device thanks to the evolution of and investments in networking infrastructure, which have dramatically increased the available bandwidth. A side effect of this evolution is that multimedia content is no longer only consumed but also produced and shared among individuals within a social context. More...

November 2012Modern Programming Languages by George K. Thiruvathukal

I consider myself a bit of a language junkie, although I'm more properly termed a languages person trapped in a systems researcher's body. In the early part of my career, I worked with a colleague at Argonne National Laboratory on compilers (and tools for creating compilers) for experimental object-oriented languages. It's probably a sign of insanity, but for those of us who studied in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the obsession du jour was to come up with the next awesome programming language or operating system. Realizing that getting anyone to use our languages would be a daunting challenge, most of us then settled on more pedestrian pursuits. For example, I decided to refocus my energy on messaging middleware for C and C++, knowing that there was likely to be a bigger audience. More...

October 2012IT and Emerging Markets: The New Nexus by San Murugesan

Emerging markets — nations in the process of rapid growth, industrialization, and socioeconomic development -- are the world's new powerhouses. They represent two-thirds of the global population, generate more than 20 percent of its gross domestic product, and are restructuring themselves to foster further growth and development. Although these markets have historically lagged behind advanced economies in adopting and innovatively leveraging IT to address their problems, they are now harnessing it in novel ways in areas including business, education, socioeconomic development, healthcare, and governance — often cleverly addressing the limitations they encounter. New opportunities exist for the IT industry and emerging markets to embrace each other, fostering a new level of nexus. In this issue, Computing Now turns your attention to the progress and prospects of IT in emerging markets. More...

September 2012: High Performance Computing (HPC) in the Cloud by Dejan Milojicic

High performance computing is no longer limited to those who own supercomputers. HPC's democratization has been driven particularly by cloud computing, which has given scientists access to supercomputing-like features at the cost of a few dollars per hour. More...





August 2012: Augmented Reality: Looking into the Future by Steven Feiner

Augmented Reality (AR) is rapidly becoming one of the best known buzzwords associated with future user interfaces. Its name recognition has accelerated further over recent months, thanks to the announcement of Google's Project Glass, whose eyewear display prototype the popular press often incorrectly refers to as exemplifying AR. But, what does AR really mean? It refers to integrating virtual media with our perception of the physical environment, extending what we experience. Furthermore, those virtual media are geometrically aligned with the real world (researchers refer to this as registration) and experienced interactively, so that both are perceived as occupying a common space as the user moves. For example, a virtual animated character might appear to be seated on a real physical chair. In that case, the character needs to be rendered from the user's current point of view, even as that view changes. Although AR often focuses on visual augmentations, it can be created for any and all of our senses, including hearing, touch, taste, and smell. More...


Numerous headlines from the past few years have pointed out challenges attracting, motivating, retaining, and graduating STEM majors, thus leading to worrying shortfalls in these professional areas:

After the tsunami hit Japan on 11 March 2011, in-car navigation systems were the main source of information for those seeking passable roads in the devastated area—impressive testimony to the Japanese IT infrastructure's extent, degree of integration, and capacity. Tied closely to economic development, success stories in computing research and development in the Asia-Pacific region are plentiful across a diverse array of fields. The June 2012 issue of Computer magazine focused on several of these in its Computing in Asia theme. The featured articles explored a range of topics, from classical research fields such as effective software debugging (from Hong Kong) to cutting-edge areas such as cloud computing (Taiwan), the software development paradigm for internet computing (China), and interdisciplinary bioinformatics genomics research (Singapore). More...

June 2012Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education by Kevin Rudd

Explore key issues in engineering education, including STEM outreach, technology-assisted learning, industry collaboration, academic integrity, and tech challenges and opportunities. More...

May 2012Data Integrity and Availability: The Challenge of Scale for Modern Storage Systems by Sundara Nagarajan

Recent reports from Amazon Web Services (AWS) indicate that the company's S3 storage service will soon havemore than a trillion objects in storage and be capable of handling a million requests per second. Clearly, we are living through an era of transformation in storage system architectures designed to deliver continuously scalable service. Consumers and enterprise users want most of their data to be stored in the most economical manner, with a small part stored for rapid access as needed. Yet, even if a storage solution is available free of cost, users are uncompromising on a key property: access to their data on demand without fail. This invariant raises several challenges for storage system designers. Faults in storage systems can cause latent errors that remain long undetected until access uncovers them as failures. Hardware and software defects can cause faults that have a significant negative impact on reliability and availability, leading to data loss or delays in getting to the data. More...

April 2012: Video-Based Detection Methods: What Can We Know from Watching You? by Dorée Duncan Seligmann

It's very likely that you've been on camera from the moment you left home today -- recorded as you rode in the elevator, walked on the street, bought coffee at the local deli, withdrew money, and as you've moved throughout your office building. While you're at work, cameras might be recording the events in your home, capturing the nanny's interaction with your children and when your cat drinks from her water bowl. Your image is part of the crowd scene in the camera advertisement on a billboard in Times Square, passersby are looking at you on the video display at an electronics store, the game system in your living room is analyzing your gestures, and your face is being analyzed as you go through security at the airport. More...

March 2012: Migrating to Cloud: Testing, Quality, and Security Concerns by Jacky Keung

Cloud computing has recently been the focus of much excitement in the IT community. For decades, when organizations needed to increase their data and computation capacity, they had two options: purchase more hardware if the budget permitted, or make the IT operation more efficient and lean (but this limited the potential growth of the business constrained by the resources). Today, cloud computing offers a drastically different and affordable approach to IT resource delivery: lease the data and processing capacity you need from a "cloud" (pool) of interconnected, shared computing systems that are maintained by cloud service providers. Cloud computing benefits such as agility, elasticity, availability, and cost-efficiency are well known, due to cost-saving through larger economies of scale and flexible resource allocation schemes provided by different cloud services. More...


February 2012: Innovation, Tech Transfer, and Entrepreneurship by Gary McGraw

Where does technology come from? Can you teach people to be entrepreneureal? What can we do as a society to encourage and foster innovation? As software completely transforms the business world, what can we do to harness and channel the creative power that it unleashes? More...



January 2012: Pervasive Sensing by Cecilia Mascolo and Nigel Davies

The sensing capabilities of the infrastructure and devices surrounding our daily lives are improving and becoming more affordable by the day. Office buildings, transport infrastructure, and homes are increasingly instrumented with smart devices that can detect human presence and environmental conditions. In this month's theme, we focus on the topic of pervasive sensing. More...



December 2011: Video for the Universal Web by Thomas Stockhammer, Mark Watson, and Christian Timmerer

Video streaming over the Internet has become omnipresent. Content providers such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple, and Vudu don't deploy their own delivery infrastructure, but use existing Internet distribution means to deliver their services. This streaming approach works surprisingly well without any particular support from the underlying network, even in heterogeneous access network environments, including mobile devices. More...



November 2011Challenges and Opportunities in Mobile Web and App Development by Ron Vetter

Mobile devices differ at the hardware level and in terms of their software development environments, so developing mobile applications that can run across multiple heterogeneous devices is challenging. More...

October 2011: Web Service Choreographies by Marco Aurélio Gerosa and Valérie Issarny

In the future Internet, scale will change everything. Web service choreographies offer a promising approach to coping with this challenge, but research is still in its earliest stages. More...

September 2011Exascale Computing by Dejan Milojicic

US national agencies expect exascale computing to be a reality by 2020, but making it happen in a sustainable, reliable way will require us to rethink fundamental assumptions about interconnects, memory, CPU designs, and more. More...

August 2011: Social Networking by Tom Costello

Social networking brings with it a host of new and existing challenges, and the approaches that we collectively use to handle them will form the social networking framework of the future. More...


July 2011: The Software Business by John Fabro

What business models are the most successful in the software industry? How is the cloud changing the software business? Should competitors share information? More...


June 2011: Cybersecurity by Kevin Rudd

Of all the topics that fall under the "cyber-" umbrella, one of the most interesting (and challenging) is cybersecurity. Explore aspects of cybersecurity including policy, education, infrastructure, and architecture. More...



May 2011Green IT: Helping to Create a Sustainable Planet by San Murugesan

Explore the many dimensions of green IT and learn how greening IT can improve our environment while enabling growth and development. More...

April 2011Entrepreneurship and Innovation by Ron Vetter

This month on Computing Now, explore successful innovation models, the skills innovation leaders should possess, how to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking into engineering curricula, and more. More...

March 2011Data Storage Evolution by Sundara Nagarajan

As end users become more empowered, creative application developers are moving data to the center of their system designs. Learn about the factors influencing this shift. More...

February 2011Novel Architectures and Accelerators by George K. Thiruvathukal

Learn how application accelerators can dramatically shorten the execution time for many applications—for everything from desktop computing to supercomputing. More...

January 2011: Services Computing by Liang-Jie (LJ) Zhang

Learn how services computing can enable IT services and computing technology to create, operate, and manage business services more efficiently and effectively. More...



* Please note that only the articles of the current month are freely available, others simply link to the CS digital library.
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