Interoperability is the word of choice among Nebula team members with an eye toward the future. NASA took a big step recently in demonstrating how cloud standards can facilitate interoperability and data portability… all for the benefit of the international science community. What would the future of cloud be after all if organizations around the world developed their platforms with different standards? Cooperation at this relatively early stage of development means clouds will be more robust; scientists and others will be able to share information and resources with greater ease.
NASA’s Chris Kemp, Keith Shackelford, Jesse Andrews and Kim Lembo are back from Japan after a series of meetings and demonstrations hosted by the National Institute of Informatics (NII). A trip highlight was Chris giving a live demo of interoperability between Nebula and NII’s cloud computing platform. The demo and test runs were a resounding success. It sounds like the clouds were able to speak to each other easier than the NASA and NII participants… who relied heavily on interpreters.
Nebula’s Jesse Andrews told me they proved they could “work hand-in-hand with the Japanese cloud community.” Team Nebula showed we could create software and then run it in multiple clouds. The test case we gave our NII colleagues was based on a pilot project running on Nebula by the robotics division of code TI. This project uses data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), is transferred to Nebula, and then processed by Vision Workbench Software. From a mosaic of satellite images, small image tiles are created that can be rendered by our partners. But would it work if we gave the Japanese our data & software? Could they work with it as easily as NASA’s domestic partners?
Apparently it was a good day for our open data initiative. The NII scientists were able to render tiles effortlessly. Jesse says this is all good for NASA. Now that we have greater interoperability with the Japanese scientific community we know we are capable of sharing services with international partners. For scientists working on large programs, a world of resources is much better than relying solely on a single cloud.