What's the Latest Development?

Scientific laboratories are increasingly taking advantage of cloud computing services like Amazon's to assist with difficult tasks like processes and transferring enormous amounts of data. "The European Space Agency already uses Amazon Web Services to help deliver data about the current state of the planet to scientists, governmental agencies and other organizations worldwide." In the U.S., government is helping to spur private research projects that use the cloud and others that seek to develop it further. "The National Science Foundation and Microsoft in April awarded about $4.5 million in funding to 13 research projects planning to use or study cloud services."

What's the Big Idea?

There was an era when different laboratories at the same University were allocated time to use central servers in order to process and reroute scientific data. The same is occurring with cloud computing but on a much larger scale. Now businesses and laboratories from all over the world can use centralized servers to process data and transfer important information to other locations—processing time and storage capacity are bought from the proprietors of the central servers. For business and science, it represents a reduction in overhead costs, which can make their primary endeavors more successful, whether that means selling widgets or mapping genes.