Computing in the Cloud

Cloud computing is all the rage these days, and for good reason. With information and files stored on common servers, accessible from anywhere with internet access, what’s not to like? When businesses move their applications to the Cloud, it becomes a little more challenging. More challenging yet: setting up satellite data in the Cloud.

For scientific data, such as that collected by NASA and NOAA satellites, it is critical that scientists across the country be able to access these applications when and where they need them, easily integrating data from different instruments, in different formats, and of different resolutions. But each project brings its own challenges.

The first step is defining the requirements and determining how much “processing power” will be needed. Processing power determines the cost of using a Cloud-based service, so inputting the right variables is critical.

“Everything in Cloud computing is a balance between performance and cost,” says INNOVIM vice president Neal Most. You have to design a system that can handle all the users and data processing expected, but you don’t want go overboard and pay for power you don’t need, either. This might sound easy: figure out the right balance once and you’re done, right? But that balance can be completely different from one application to the next. Properly specifying a cloud system requires knowledge of the end application and how users will interact with the system.

INNOVIM specializes in creating and implementing custom Cloud architectures for Earth science applications. We know the climate scientists, ecologists, and meteorologists who use the applications and the remote sensing specialists who generate the data. We participate in these researchers’ interest groups and help them align to using the same standards and formats. We create balanced architectures, build them, and maintain them.

As a result, we can all rest assured that the scientists who rely on NASA’s Center for Climate Simulation Data Management System, the USGS Invasive Species Forecasting System, and NOAA’s weather dissemination system always have the information they need at their fingertips.