Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Yahoo have joined government and academia in launching a global, multi-data center test bed for experimentation and research in cloud computing, which many experts believe will be the dominant IT delivery model of the future, reports InformationWeek. The initiative aims at building a computing network comprised of six data centers spanning three continents. The idea is to have a large-scale platform for testing all technology–hardware and software–related to delivering application services over the internet. "This is a global collaboration that spans the industry, spans academia and government," Prith Banerjee, senior vice president for research at HP, told reporters during a teleconference held by the three founding companies. The other founders of the effort include the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. The partnership with the University of Illinois also includes the National Science Foundation. Each of the founding members will host a cloud-computing infrastructure largely based on HP computers and Intel processors. The infrastructure will include from 1,000 to 4,000 processor cores capable of supporting data-intensive research. The six facilities are up and running today in "bits and pieces" and are expected to be fully operational this year and accessible to researchers worldwide through a selection process…

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