Amazon Reaches Mars
The moment the United Kingdom hosts the Olympics, the United States lands on Mars. Competitive? Of course NASA used the most cutting-edge technology, the most advanced of it’s kind: it used cloud computing. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, must be the happiest man in the world right now. Bezos is a known space nut who invests his massive fortune in space exploration.
In fact it can now be said that Amazon’s reach extends to Mars. Not just “Earth’s biggest selection” then.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been using Amazon’s Web Services to capture and store pictures. As well as metadata collected from their Mars Exploration Rover. Khawaja Shams, who is the manager for data services at La Canada Flintridge-based JPL said: “With so much large-scale data processing to be done, JPL is leading the way in the adoption of cloud computing in the federal government”
“At this point, JPL’s data centers are filled to capacity, so we’re looking for ways to cost effectively expand the computational horsepower that we have at our disposal. Cloud computing is giving us that opportunity.”
“Using AWS’s cloud to operate the mars.jpl.nasa.gov website enables JPL to get images, videos and developments to the public quickly, without having to build and operate the infrastructure in-house”.
NASA will have a massive amount of data processing to do. Much more than your average feature film, and it definitely seems like AWS is handling it well. It is worth noting that AWS was not the first cloud service JPL hooked up with. They also flirted with Microsoft, Lockheed and Google for specific projects and needs. Shams says that they “find the right cloud for the right job”.
NASA’s use of Amazon’s cloud computing service makes it a major player in the industry. Amazon made it’s money being an e-commerce giant.
Amazon said: “With unrelenting goals to get the data out to the public, NASA/JPL prepared to service hundreds of gigabits/second of traffic for hundreds of thousands of concurrent viewers,”
Amazon also said that their AWS will enable JPL to construct a scalable Web infrastructure in weeks instead of months.
Space exploration isn’t cheap (although NASA’s Mars mission is much cheaper than the 27 billion the Olympics cost) so NASA must be glad for cloud computing, not only will it be making everything easier, it will also be making it much cheaper.
By Catherine Balavage