Distributed Computing Systems Group

MiST - Minnesota Integrated Cloud Systems Testbed


The past few years have seen a tremendous growth of massive computing resources and storage capacities in large "core" data centers enabling new Internet applications and services. At the same time, there has been a rapid growth and widespread adoption of smart phones, tablets, and e-readers, through which users access these applications and services on the move. The confluence of these complementary trends has given rise to the emerging notions of mobile services and cloud computing. However, current mobile services and cloud computing offerings pose many difficult challenges to realize their full potential. These challenges include lack of user control over computing resources, poor performance and lack of context due to the separation between user devices and cloud resources, and limited privacy provided by centralized clouds. These challenges raise important questions such as: Can we build large-scale "community-based", customizable cloud computing infrastructures by leveraging computing and storage resources contributed by a large number of small players? Can we develop personalized and collaborative Internet cloud services and mobile apps that enable user control, while tapping into existing cloud computing infrastructures? What applications can be run effectively on each type of cloud, and how could such clouds be coupled to yield a much more powerful platform? How can we fully realize the potential of mobile and cloud computing while minimizing its carbon footprint? We have deployed an experimental cloud testbed called MiST to explore these issues with support from the National Science Foundation.


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