In October 2010, the initial Frankfurt Cloud has been implemented. In this program, Goethe University receives substantial support from Deutsche Bank AG (64 cores plus software plus manpower) and Interxion Deutschland GmbH (hosting), also from Incontinuum (cloud management software). Right from the start the Frankfurt Cloud enjoys close cooperations with the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt (Helmholtz-Zentrum, Heavy Ion Research Center). In spring 2011, HP added additional 192 cores (96 Intel and 96 AMD cores). In fall 2011, SunGard joined the Frankfurt Cloud by providing infrastructure for document and workflow management. Also several hundred cores of the LOEWE CSC supercomputer have been added for self-provisioning services of the Frankfurt Cloud Users in fall 2011. The heterogenous hardware - also mirrored in the usage of multiple cloud management solutions controlling several clouds in distinct datacenters - is designed to to gain experience in the usage of non-homogenous cloud infrastructures.
The E-Finance Lab (www.efinancelab.com), a public-private research institute located at the House of Finance (www.hof.uni-frankfurt.de) of Frankfurt's Goethe University (www.uni-frankfurt.de), has been asked by the stakeholders to coordinate the relationship between the service providers and the service users of the Frankfurt Cloud. Prof. Dr. Clemens Jochum has agreed to assume this task - thank you very much.
Since February 2011, the government of Hessen and the city council of Frankfurt have joined the research community (see press release here).
The Frankfurt Cloud provides an infrastructure tool to support research in the appropriate application of clouds with regard to different user profiles, e.g. data intensive applications, compute intensive applications, communication intensive applications, intrinsically parallel application structures, and intrinsically sequential application structures. Moreover, the Frankfurt Cloud is a testbed to evaluate cloud products and service offerings of the market and to design and investigate novel cloud management concepts, e. g. load distribution, billing the users, and management of federated clouds. Our long-term goal is to contribute to a "cloud management technology" which also comprises questions like outsourcing and service componentization.
Supplement (dated April 2015):
Meanwhile,the maintainance of the cloud system lies in the sole responsibility of Goethe University. The current state of hard and software will be maintained in a best-effort. So far, the Frankfurt Cloud continues to run very smoothly, but we can not guarantee a smooth operation forever, a critical component might break someday. In addition the FC'S datacenter section in the LOEWE CSC supercomputer is being well maintained.
What is specific about Frankfurt in the context of the Frankfurt Cloud?
Frankfurt and the surrounding region Rhine/Main provide an outstanding basic IT infrastructure:
All these factors form a self-sustained growth pattern - in academic terms, the Frankfurt/Rhein/Main region enjoys the preferential attachment: Successful companies attract new companies to join the success. So Frankfurt/Rhein/Main is in the world-wide competition highly predestined to successfully host cloud services.
Image from the 2nd Usermeeting