India’s remote districts and villages, which may only have electricity for a few hours a day, which is essential for setting up advanced IT infrastructure such as servers, storage, etc. can now get a server for development and hosting through the power of cloud computing. Eucalyptus Systems today announced that the open source Eucalyptus Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is the cornerstone of the e-governance cloud project by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) with an aim to deliver the power of information technology to remote areas throughout the country.
EUCALYPTUS (Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems) is an open-source software infrastructure for implementing elastic/utility/cloud computing using computing clusters and/or workstation farms. Eucalyptus is a distributed computing system implemented using com-only available Linux tools and basic web service technologies and provides private/hybrid cloud.
NIC provides the network backbone and a wide range of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) services to government organizations throughout India, including a nationwide communication network for decentralized planning, improvement in government services and wider transparency of national and local government institutions.
As part of this initiative, the NIC is building a high performance architecture on Eucalyptus. This infrastructure is designed to support the basic needs of these communities through always-on, scalable and affordable compute resources. Currently, a breakdown of any machine, operating system, database or application server in a remote district or village can bring critical government services to a standstill. NIC aims to eliminate these risks by providing remotely-provisioned cloud-based services in areas where it’s not possible to install and support on-site server infrastructure.
NIC currently works by means of SAN (storage area network) data centers and SWANs (state wide area network) that are being established in all 35 states/UTs through as a part of NICNET. Presently, SAN and SWANs are individually connected and are independently operating without any resource sharing or even without any replica or mirroring storage. By connecting all these data centers (SAN) into a cloud, all the computational resources, such as the CPUs, disk storage systems, specialized software systems, etc., can be provisioned to all the users connecting to the cloud, including sophisticated users needing advanced capabilities like remote application hosting space, data storage on cloud, persistent transaction states, and distributed data mining.
”Through the power of cloud computing, IT workers in districts and villages can now get a server for development and hosting to ensure that critical government programs continue”, Marten Mickos, Eucalyptus Systems CEO commented. “Access to readily-available and scalable compute power is also enabling a range of new government services that weren’t possible before. We are extremely proud to participate in such an important initiative.”
Important it is, for the growth and spread of IT-enabled services in remote areas in India, and collaborating and sharing resources. It is interesting to note that NIC already has the required expertise to create, build, and deploy applications, and is using the private IaaS to move and integrate all its applications to one.