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Announcement | Mathematics and Computer Science Division

Chameleon cloud computing testbed launches third phase

The Chameleon cloud computing testbed has been renewed for a third phase under a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

Chameleon is an open production experimental environment with sites at the University of Chicago and the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Chameleon supports computer science systems research including new operating systems, virtualization methods, power management and artificial intelligence. Begun in 2015, Chameleon now has served more than 4,500 users from over 100 institutions.

Kate Keahey, a senior computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and PI of the Chameleon project, said that the Chameleon staff have plans to extend the platform with numerous new capabilities during this third phase. For example, users will be able to connect Internet of Things technologies to Chameleon through a new Bring Your Own Device” process. The Chameleon team is also adding a sharing portal integrated with the Zenodo digital publishing platform, allowing users to more easily publish details of their experiments for other scientists to build on. Moreover, new options will be provided for software-defined networking experimentation and new hardware and storage resources deployed at both the University of Chicago and the Texas Advanced Computing Center project sites.

Keahey also mentioned plans for enhancing CHI-in-a-Box, a packaging of the CHameleon Infrastructure (CHI) which implements the testbed as well as its operational model. With this packaging, anybody can build a testbed like Chameleon easily and rapidly, and then operate it very efficiently,” Keahey said. Built on top of the open-source, mainstream OpenStack platform, Chameleon both contributes to and leverages contributions of a thriving open source community and thereby influences the development of the cloud computing paradigm to respond to the needs of scientific community.

 Under Phase III, we want to broaden the set of supported systems experiments, but we also want to make support for those experiments cheaper and capable of broad deployment so that more users can have access to this type of advanced capability” Keahey said. I am excited that, with this new NSF funding, researchers and students alike can continue to use the Chameleon testbed, leveraging new computer science technologies and catalyzing new scientific discoveries.”

For a detailed discussion of the Chameleon project see the team’s recent USENIX ATC paper.

For the University of Chicago announcement of Phase III, click here.