Cluster Resources today announced that Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, has implemented the Moab Utility/Hosting Suite for its Alexa Web Search Platform. This platform opens a new chapter in the next generation of the Internet where complete utility computing services can be offered and delivered over the Web.
In Alexa's case, the result is a service that allows users to create their own search engines for a fraction of the price of alternatives, using hosted resources that are now more readily available thanks to their underlying use of Moab (http://www.clusterresources.com/utilitycomputing) technology. The same technology has a far reaching effect for utility computing, as it lets customers lease out unused hardware, automate creation of virtual clusters, loan access to testing systems and build grids that grow and shrink based on capacity needs.
Accessing Alexa's Web Search Treasure Trove
When users access the Alexa Web Search Platform, they are essentially receiving a customized, dynamically-generated 'mini-supercomputer' that taps into Alexa's extensive data store. This includes the data, analysis tools, storage facilities, high speed network and powerful compute resources required. Alexa's solution provides a full end-to-end environment that empowers the user to immediately and fully process the available data to provide their own Web services. This new on-demand solution handles logistics, scheduling, and the automation of management, simplifying the process for customers and Alexa administrators alike.
Moab makes the customized mini-supercomputer possible because it allows users to describe their data needs with the click of a button. Moab then directs the gathering of the appropriate data set, creates a personalized environment for each customer (including unique security and configuration settings) and launches the search development software using the specified data set. Moab's breakthrough technology makes providing hosted resources to the average consumer easier than ever.
When a customer reserves Alexa's resources, Moab automatically creates the HPC environment the user requested for the period of their reservation by provisioning the requested resources and applying the needed auto configuration, security and application/interface access. The set up process can take seconds to minutes and multiple environments can be created at once. This same process of creating a unique environment could take administrators many hours to days to do manually. The instantaneous set up of resources makes it easy for anyone to create their own Web search quickly and efficiently.
Moab relieves pains of utility computing, including security issues and billing logistics. Moab protects Alexa's HPC resources by creating a virtual private cluster that initiates through event-driven triggers, the necessary security and configuration settings for each user. Users can only obtain information from the section of the cluster they are using. The rest of Alexa�s HPC resources are kept available and private for other users. Moab also tracks HPC utilization and storage metrics and aggregates this information for billing purposes.
Enabling Utility Computing
The implications of the new Moab technology Alexa is using reach far beyond the search engine industry. Moab gives HPC organizations the ability to rent out their resources, or applications and services running on the resources, with little or no change to current user environments or service levels. With advanced ease-of-use, organizations can set up utility computing with very little maintenance work.
For example, Moab is currently used by academic organizations to meet university needs and to rent their resources to a local weather station on weekends. Hardware vendors are also using Moab to let partners test their software on specific hardware architectures for compatibility testing and benchmarking purposes, etc. Organizations can use Moab to create a business or operational model of leasing out unused HPC resources, providing access to applications or services on those resources for profit, or simply offsetting or sharing the cost of hardware maintenance and administration.
As Moab Utility/Hosting Suite becomes more widely used, utility computing will be more commonly accessible to end users. In the way Alexa reduces the cost of starting a new search engine, other HPC organizations can lower the cost of using HPC resources for scientific research, business and other areas.
"Moab Utility/Hosting Suite provides organizations with security, usability and a dynamic utility computing environment," said David Jackson, Chief Technology Officer of Cluster Resources. "This software will open the door to utility computing for any HPC organization that wants to share resources efficiently."
About Cluster Resources:
Cluster Resources, Inc. is a leading provider of workload and resource management software and services for cluster, grid, hosting center and utility-based computing environments. Cluster Resources' high-performance computing solutions enable administrators to control and optimize parallel and serial computing resources. Its professional Moab product line provides HPC sites with the most advanced workload management, scheduling and policy control (e.g., advanced reservations, backfill, checkpoint, preemption, fairshare, prioritization, etc.). Moab is compatible with batch resource managers such as Platform's LSF, Altair's PBS Pro, and IBM's LoadLeveler, and open source tools including TORQUE, OpenPBS and others. Moab runs on Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X environments, and is also accessible from Windows. For more information call (801) 873-3400 or visit http://www.clusterresources.com
Amazon.com Forward Looking Statement:
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to potential future losses, significant amount of indebtedness, competition, management of growth, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions, and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, consumer trends, inventory, limited operating history, government regulation and taxation, fraud, and new business areas. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, and all subsequent filings.