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IU and Penguin Computing partner to provide secure cloud computing service

Indiana University and Penguin Computing on Nov. 2 announced a partnership to offer US researchers access to powerful shared computing resources in a secure environment. This type of service -- also known as on-demand or cloud computing -- lets individuals and organizations share the resources of large computing systems without individually purchasing and maintaining the costly equipment.

One downside of traditional cloud services is that users often do not know where or how shared equipment is kept, which may create security and grant compliance concerns. The new service provided by IU and Penguin mitigates these concerns by providing access to a group of computers owned by Penguin and housed on U.S. soil in IU's highly secure state-of-the-art data center.

"This public/private collaboration demonstrates how technology companies are working together with academia to foster cost-effective innovation and provide access to world-class systems," said Charles Wuischpard, president and CEO of Penguin Computing. "The systems we provide are set up for ease-of-use with the same configurations as existing government supercomputers and help address the challenge of providing the science and research community with easy, cost-effective access to needed computing resources. We believe this specialized cloud-computing model will help accelerate needed research to enable U.S competitiveness in science and engineering."

The agreement between IU and Penguin also has the support of a group of founding user-partners, including the University of Virginia; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Michigan. Along with IU, these partners will be the initial users of the new service. Thereafter, researchers at U.S. institutions of higher education and federally funded research centers can purchase computing time from Penguin and receive access via high-speed national research networks operated by IU.

"This is a great example of a community cloud service," said Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and CIO at Indiana University. "By working together in a productive private-public partnership, we can achieve cost savings through larger scale while also ensuring security and managing the terms of service in the interests of researchers."

Security and technical expertise provided by IU arecritical to the collaboration. The cluster will be located in the IU Data Center, an energy-efficient facility built to withstand a category 5 tornado, with around-the-clock security provided by the IU GlobalNOC.

"This partnership is being executed in ways that aid IU's mission of engagement in the state and nation, offering our researchers secure access to on-demand computing and protecting valuable intellectual property," said Craig Stewart, associate dean of research technologies and executive director of the IU Pervasive Technology Institute.

For more information about the technical specifications, see If you are at an institution of higher education and have a credit card, you can start using this service now. Go to:

About Penguin Computing

For well over a decade Penguin Computing has been dedicated to delivering complete, integrated High Performance Computing (HPC) solutions that are innovative, cost effective, and easy to use. Penguin offers a complete end-to-end portfolio of products and solutions ranging from Linux servers and workstations to integrated, turn-key HPC clusters and cluster management software. For those who want to use supercomputing capabilities on-demand and pay as they go, Penguin offers Penguin on Demand (POD), a public HPC cloud that is available instantly and as needed. With its broad portfolio of solutions Penguin is the one-stop shop for HPC and enterprise customers and counts some of the world's most demanding HPC users as its customers, including Caterpillar, Life Technologies, Dolby, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Air Force, and the US Navy.

Penguin Computing is a registered trademark of Penguin Computing Inc. Penguin on Demand is a pending trademark in the U.S. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

Originally published Nov. 2, 2011.