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NASA builds its own Nebula cloud computing platform out of open-source components


You've probably heard all about Google's shipping container server farm. Over capacity? Just plug in another container! Now you, as an end user, can enjoy a similar service direct from NASA itself.

NASA's Nebula platform
provides a cloud of processing power much like that of Amazon's EC2. A brief look at the details of NASA's cloud suggest that this is a much more low-level solution: while Amazon's EC2 is great for websites, NASA's Nebula could replace an entire computer infrastructure.

The container in the photo above is NASA's primary node, but I presume they have more containers in the background. You can tell by the presence of a huge dish that they're trying to impress -- and I have to admit I am impressed! I have no idea where other cloud computing providers host their servers, but I bet it isn't at frickin' NASA. If all of that wasn't cool enough, it's all built out of open-source components. They haven't contributed their code to the community yet, but fully intend to!

Unfortunately I saved the bad news for last: this isn't a public service. I'm afraid you'll have to be in the science community to take advantage of NASA's cloud -- or, if they release their platform software, perhaps you could build your own cloud...? If you know someone with a spare shipping container, anyway...

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Tags: amazon, cloud, ec2, foss, nasa, nebula, open source, OpenSource

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