Big technology firms like Google, IBM, Yahoo, eBay and others all use "cloud computing" but one of the problems with this technology is that even the top universities don't give students the training needed to work with this powerful and highly complex computing technology.
To change this both Google and IBM announced they're going to invest in cloud computing. Six universities will be involved in this project.
The two companies are investing to build large data centers that students can tap into over the Internet to program and research remotely, which is called "cloud computing."
Both companies have a deep business interest in this new model in which computing chores increasingly move off individual desktops and out of corporate computer centers to be handled as services over the Internet.
Google, the Internet search giant, is the leader in this technology. But companies like Yahoo, Amazon.com, eBay and Microsoft have built Internet consumer services like search, social networking, Web e-mail and online commerce that use cloud computing. In the corporate market, IBM and others have built Internet services to predict market trends, tailor pricing and optimize procurement and manufacturing.
Behind these services are data centers that typically use thousands of processors, store countless libraries of data and engage specialized software to tackle what scientists call Internet-scale computing challenges. This new kind of data-intensive supercomputing often involves scouring the Web and other data sources in seconds or minutes for patterns and insights.
Most of the innovation in cloud computing has been led by corporations, but industry executives and computer scientists say a shortage of skills and talent could limit future growth.
"We in academia and the government labs have not kept up with the times," said Randal E. Bryant, dean of the computer science school at Carnegie Mellon University. "Universities really need to get on board."