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Austin, Texas. – Cloud computing, where all of our photos, emails, and data are stored in a distributed “cloud,” is the future. To improve emerging cloud-based technologies, a new center for cloud computing research was recently created in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin in a partnership with SunGard Availability Services.

The Cloud Computing Research Center will give the department and SunGard the ability to work together to identify relevant and unsolved research problems in the cloud-computing field, pursue targeted research initiatives to solve those problems and, as appropriate, commercialize the resulting research.

It is anticipated that the results of research conducted in the center will have an impact in such areas as mobile computing, networking, verification, fraud protection, encryption, and large-scale distributed processing.

Faculty and students working in the center will develop new approaches to protect data as it traverses the cloud and the Internet, and explore emerging technologies that may benefit from the efficiency of massive-scale infrastructure.

One of the first projects under consideration is the development of an exabyte-scale “storage cloud” based on research from The University of Texas at Austin.

“The University of Texas attracts world-renown faculty and students experienced in distributed and high-performance computing, making the school an ideal partner for this initiative,” said Indu Kodukula, executive vice president and chief technology officer at SunGard. “We also expect the discoveries made will help shape the future of cloud computing.”

SunGard will contribute its expertise to the center as a leading service provider of cloud computing, managed hosting and application recovery.

“Partnering with an industry and cloud computing leader like SunGard Availability Services allows us to conduct research that can truly further the state of the art,” said Bruce Porter, chairman and professor in the Department of Computer Science.

Through the partnership, SunGard will source a steady supply of real-world research areas to the department, which will advance the overall scientific knowledge in computer science.

"The University of Texas and SunGard partnership represents a unique industry-academic collaborative model, setting a new trend that will provide the industry with access to the latest technological breakthroughs, in return enriching research at the university that will further the academic mission", said Jitendra (JJ) Jain, licensing specialist at the Office of Technology Commercialization at the university.

SunGard and the university have created an executive committee composed of two faculty, Bruce Porter and Keshav Pingali, and two SunGard executives, Indu Kodukula and Chandler Vaughn, that will guide the overall research program at the Cloud Computing Research Center.