Microsoft Offers Free Use of Azure to NSF
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Researchers often find themselves in the unfortunate position of going begging for resources to do their work, sometimes to the detriment of the work itself. While there are plenty of grants out there and lots of supercomputers available to do work, it's still not enough for some. So Microsoft is lending a helping hand and datacenter. Datamation has the story.
The same week that Microsoft began charging most users of its newly commercialized Windows Azure cloud computing platform, the company also said that it is giving free access to qualified scientific researchers.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced Thursday that it will provide free use of Windows Azure for three years to projects identified by the NSF.
The idea is that the variety and sheer volume of data collected by scientific researchers has grown exponentially in recent years, and that cloud computing can help alleviate the challenges of supporting that research, including where to store and manage it.
"We are drowning in data," Jeannette Wing, NSF assistant director, said on a joint conference call with Microsoft. "The computer science community has been investigating cloud computing [as a solution] for several years."