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Best Practices on Using the Cloud for Computing Research Report Released

Industry report

By Helen Wright, CRA-Industry Senior Program Associate 

Cloud computing has emerged as critical infrastructure for most enterprises worldwide and has become essential for computing research. It has introduced a revolutionary model in which computing resources can be used to store, manage, process, and share data thereby enabling novel workloads and efficiencies of scale. This is in contrast to the traditional model of enterprises relying entirely on acquiring and maintaining in-house local servers and personal computers. 

The Computing Research Association‘s newest committee, Computing Research Association-Industry (CRA-Industry), held its first workshop organized by Vivek Sarkar (Georgia Tech) and Fatma Özcan (Google) on Best Practices on Using the Cloud for Computing Research in March 2022. This workshop was built on a very successful September 2021 virtual roundtable discussion. It continued the momentum, and identified best practices on using the cloud for computing research in three different focus areas: research, education, and collaboration.

The workshop organizers are pleased to release the workshop report which introduces background on cloud computing and discusses challenges, opportunities, and synergies for the focus areas. It summarizes the following recommendations from the workshop.

  • Encourage research that focuses on extensions to cloud computing including: hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and local clouds, research that extends the reach of the cloud to “the edge” and vice-versa, and research that exploits the geospatial distribution of cloud resources. 
  • Continue to educate and inform the broad computer science community and various related government agencies about the definition of cloud, the inherent properties and tradeoffs in cloud computing, and the importance of cloud access for research. 
  • Develop a broad ecosystem that encourages collaboration, community and access to computing. 

Achieving the above recommendations will require close partnership across industry, academia and government. CRA-Industry is well positioned to convene discussions and help enable this partnership. Cloud computing is currently at an important juncture in the evolution of its technology innovation. Industry has established cloud computing broadly due to ease of application development and powerful capabilities. This has created gaps and significant opportunities for academia to evolve both curriculum and research approaches to contribute to advances in this field. 

To learn more, please see the full report here.