NSF Awards $10M Grant to Universities for Cloud

The National Science Foundation has awarded $10 million in grant funding to the cloud computing testbed Chameleon, which enables systems and networking innovations by “providing thousands of computer scientists with the bare metal access they need to conceptualize, assemble, and test new cloud computing approaches.”

Under the four-year new grant, Chameleon will broaden its scope, add new features for reproducibility, IoT and networking experimentation, and GPU computation to its core mission. The initiative is led by the University of Chicago in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University.

Since its creation in 2015, more than 4,000 users from more than 100 institutions have used the testbed to research power management, operating systems, virtualization, high performance computing, distributed computing, networking, security, and machine learning.

“Chameleon is a great example of how shared infrastructure with over 4,000 users can save the academic community time and money while catalyzing new research results,” said Deepankar Medhi, program director in the Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. “NSF is pleased to fund Chameleon for four more years in order to extend the platform with new capabilities, thus allowing researchers to conduct new lines of research and students to learn newer technologies.”

The new funding will help launch the next phase of Chameleon’s research, which will further develop CHameleon Infrastructure (CHI) that provides enhanced capabilities with the open source OpenStack project. The testbed will also be able to broaden its connections to other testbeds to allow experimenters to implement core contributions of testbeds beyond Chameleon into their work.

In a move to strengthen the impact of their research, Chameleon will use the funding to expand tools for reproducible research and will add new hardware and storage resources. The new resources will be primarily located at the University of Chicago and the University of Texas at Austin.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs