By Ashley Yeager

A network of individual computers are linked through a server. Credit: TAS Software

The National Science Foundation has awarded computer scientist Jeff Chase $300,000 to move a computer cloud he now has in his lab to the university’s campus network, and beyond.

Chase has been building the cloud to improve server networks. In his new model, servers, the computers that process requests and deliver data over a local network or the Internet, have become critical, public infrastructures with open, flexible, secure, robust and decentralized control.

The work, once reproduced outside of the lab, will let Duke scientists across campus and throughout the world to more easily connect to one another through existing networks and to share computational services and access data, according to Tracy Futhey, Duke’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

Based on software-defined networking and other technologies, the new, on-demand cloud services will be launched through a distinct network that connects science resources, such as the large datasets generated in physics and genomics experiments.

The project is part of the NSF-funded Global Environment for Networking Innovation, or GENI.

Chase’s work was also recognized on June 14 when the White House launched an initiative, US Ignite, to develop a publicly available system of advanced networks based on important contributions from GENI scientists. Duke is among more than 60 universities across the country that has participated in the project.