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01 Oct 2013

BoF on Cloud Computing and Data Analysis Training for the Developing World

This BoF took place after the report session on the 3rd day of the 2nd RDA Plenary. But this didn’t make it less important.

The BoF was chaired by Hugh Shanahan (Royal Holloway, University of London, U.K.). Presentations were given by Kenji Takeda (Microsoft), Yuri Demchenko (Univ of Amsterdam), Andrew Harrison (Univ of Essex). Active comments and valuable contribution to the discussion were provided by Fabrizio Gagliardi, Nicola Mulder, Kay Raseroka, and others.

Through access to large amounts of computing and public data sets, developing world science could make cutting-edge contributions to Science in general and to the domains that are of importance to them. On the other hand, the international community will benefit from involving specialists from developing countries into international resource and collecting local data of general importance.
At this point cloud computing presents an opportunity for developing world science to overcome their infrastructural difficulties. Emerging Big Data technologies will provide tools for the modern research.
However catching up on the new technologies use and their gradual implementation will require solving multiple problems. Besides financial resources, it will require technical specialists to manage new technologies and experienced users.
International community can cooperate to help in educating and training technology specialists and experienced users from developing world.

The BoF discussed the three possible goals of a new activity at RDA:
(1) Developing financial models for cloud computing use by organisations and individuals in developing countries, providing costs breakdown and analysing different scenarios with using international and local cloud resources from commercial cloud providers and community clods.
(2) Coordinating development of and selecting training and teaching materials on data science and cloud computing that could be used by researchers and engineers in developing countries.
(3) Developing a framework proposal for a fully funded sustainable cloud computing platform for developing world science will be developed.

The meeting recognized importance of all goals but considered education and training component as main focus for the near future activities. In this area the future Interest or Working Group could cooperate with such projects as EuroBrazil that will develop training materials on Cloud Computing for Brazilian research community. It was also noted that development of the training materials for developing countries can be done in cooperation with the proposed Interest Group on Education and Skill Development for Data Intensive Science.

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