Software vendor IBM will contribute a private cloud to a consortium of post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia.
The system will form a shared computing platform enabling the schools to create new curriculum and conduct research, aimed at better equipping graduates with high-demand analytics skills to drive Nova Scotia’s economy, said IBM in a statement.
The system, operational in early 2014, is being hosted at Dalhousie University but will also be accessible through a single log-on process to faculty and students at Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia Community College, Saint Mary’s University and St. Francis Xavier University.
The cloud platform, based on IBM Flex System and IBM Storwize hardware, will run the Apache Software Foundation Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) software, providing each school with scalable on-demand access to servers, storage, applications and services. This open source cloud platform is designed specifically for the education and research community and will also include access to a wide range of IBM analytics software products.
The schools will use the system to deliver curriculum that reflects the mix of technical and problem-solving skills necessary to prepare students for high-demand careers in analytics. This need is being fuelled by the explosion of Big Data — the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information generated daily from a growing list of sources such as smartphones, social networks, instrumentation, GPS, audio or video files, emails and sensors. New insights are found when analyzing these data types together.