Cloud platform provider CumuLogic announced on Monday that it will offer a free software license to accredited universities and academic institutions to learn about cloud computing with its platform.
CumuLogic offers a Java platform-as-a-service to enterprises, cloud providers, and SaaS ISVs, according to its website. Its complete platform enables users to develop applications, migrate to the cloud, run the applications, as well as providing managing, monitoring and metering functionality.
The program will give teachers and students at applicable universities a free platform to advance cloud computing skills, according to the press release. This approach is interesting in the way it aims to offer the platform as a learning tool for students, and in the process may gain more exposure as academic research projects leverage the platform that is integrated with open source clouds like Eucalyptus and OpenStack. Web hosts have been taking more of a different approach in educating their own staff with several different certifications, including one for OpenStack. The WHIR looked into the different certifications for hosting professionals in a feature last week.
“We are very excited to make our innovative PaaS solution available to the broader academic community,” Michael Soby, president of CumuLogic said in a statement. “The academic world will play a critical role in the continued expansion of cloud innovation and we’re looking forward to working closely with the dozens of universities that participated in our beta program, as well as those that would like to going forward.”
CumuLogic says it is taking this offer beyond academic research and training since the platform is also available for production environments of up to 25 nodes at no charge.
With the program, qualified universities can set up a private cloud in the university’s data center, or on a public cloud like Amazon EC2, or create hybrid clouds.
While universities can be a big client for some service providers, convincing educational institutions on the merits of cloud computing and assuring its security can be difficult. This method enables universities to try something new without incurring a huge cost, obviously an attractive feature as universities struggle to stay current with a budget in mind.
“It is critical for academic institutions to access the most cutting-edge technologies now that research and education depend so heavily on digital infrastructure. In addition to fostering new research ideas, cloud computing in general, and PaaS in particular, is sure to play a pivotal role in advancing the ‘enterprise’ of education,” Dr. Rich Wolski, professor of computer science, University of California, Santa Barbara, and CTO, Eucalyptus Systems.
Last month, Eucalyptus launched a new enterprise-class cloud test lab at CoreSite’s San Francisco data center for enterprises to test their cloud application migration strategies prior to implementation.
While the platform is free, the Cumulogic website suggests that maintenance services will cost something, although it promises “significantly discounted prices.”
In February, web hosting provider DreamHost volunteered with the LA chapter of City Year, a non-profit organization that partners with public schools to help students graduate.
Talk back: What are your thoughts on the free cloud platform offering? Are cloud providers doing enough to educate on cloud computing? Is this something you would do? Let us know in the comments.