Simon Woodman presented e-Science Central and how it can benefit the Long Tail of Science at the RCUK Cloud Working Group Workshop in London. Earlier in the day there had been presentations from CERN, The Sanger Institute and other users who require specialised high performance computing delivered by the Cloud. However, in the afternoon, Phil Kershaw and Simon Woodman presented a different perspective – that the biggest beneficiaries of Cloud Computing may not be the former HPC and grid communities but the wider community of less computationally advanced researchers. Whilst the democratisation of resources offers great potential for these researchers to have access to more computing power than before, enabling technologies and platforms are required to aid the transition. Platforms such as e-Science Central and the IPython Notebook allow this Long Tail of scientists to benefit from Cloud Computing without needing to understand system administration and virtualisation technology.
You can download Simon’s slides here