Cloud computing only for techies? Nah, college students chipping in

Aishhwariya Subramanian| Dnaindia

Can students in top institutes really be the untapped market to figure out many of industry’s burning problems? Can students in top institutes really be the untapped market to figure out many of industry’s burning problems? Well, EMC India, a company in the storage, cloud and business analytics industry has partnered with People’s Education Society Institute of Technology (PESIT) to form a research team comprising 26 students from the college who are working on industry solutions in cloud computing and very specifically in a field called hybrid cloud.

Cloud computing is a web-based service that provides a host of services to companies from data analysis to data management. There are private clouds that are specific to one network of computers or public cloud whose services are available to everyone. The Amazon Web Services is one of the biggest examples of a public cloud provider. A hybrid cloud is where a company employs both private and public clouds for better data management and it is in this field that the students of PESIT would be working on.

“Imagine there is a big enterprise that has its own data centre. What happens when demand increases? Hybrid cloud provides for more resources for handling that data?” says Niranjan Thirumale, chief technology officer, EMC India Centre of Excellence.

According to Thirumale, hybrid clouds are on the verge of becoming the de facto enterprise model over time as they offer much higher value for the customer who wants to install both private clouds and public clouds in their services. Some of the benefits of doing so will result in cost savings, better service levels, and more agility. However it’s not all rainbows and puppies in this field, explains Thirumale.

“The management of such hybrid clouds has technology challenges. How does one seamlessly transfer data and applications from the private to public cloud or vice versa and how can it be done in real time automated manner? These are some of problems we want addressed,” he says. This is the reason why the company has turned to PESIT students who will be working with EMC employees for a year.

“Universities have a lot to offer us as students today are often an inspired and energetic lot, and professors are increasingly research-oriented and they are not constrained by business prerogative. Which is why we can reach out to the academia for solutions to emerging technology challenges we may face,” he explains.

Dinkar Sitaram, Professor of Computer Science, PESIT Bangalore explains that the students at PESIT are uniquely qualified for the work as the institute has recently opened a Centre for Cloud Computing and Big Data. ”Partnering with a company means that students are now exposed to a vast range of technical aspects of the industry and they will also get a perspective of business challenges,” he explains.

Sitaram also argues that continuous collaborations with the industry such as projects like these as well as events like Hackathon where students are encouraged to create various applications, get them industry-ready from the moment they graduate.

This is EMC’s third research partnership with an institute in India since the launch of its University Collaboration initiative in late 2011 and has partnerships with IISc Bangalore and Amrita University, Coimbatore.


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