Yahoo’s take on open source is totally different from what Google previously launched. Instead of focusing on an opensocial movement focused on the alliance of social networks, Yahoo is focusing more on the advancement of research and development of systems software for distributed computing. To do this, Yahoo launched M45, a supercomputing cluster that is a key component of Hadoop, an open source distributed file system and parallel execution environment that allows users to process massive amount of data.
Hadoop has been the adopted by many groups and had been the software of choice for supporting university coursework in internet-scale computing. And Yahoo has been one of the main contributor of Hadoop. Yahoo is making the m45 available to in supercomputing class data center to the academic community for research on systems software.
Yahoo expects to run m45 with the latest version of Hadoop as well as other state-of-the-art, Yahoo-supported, open-source distributed computing software developed by its Research arm.
To kick-off M45’s development, top researchers at Carnegie Mellon are conducting simultaneous activities on M45 that includes instrumentation and evaluation, information retrieval and large-scale graph problem analysis on the cluster, processing of large-scale computer graphics, natural language search processing and machine translation problems. After passing through the Carnegie Mellon researchers, Yahoo plans to make M45 available to other universities as well.
Here’s what Randall E. Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon has to say about Yahoo’s M45:
Hadoop has become an important computing environment for data-intensive applications and Yahoo! is playing a leading role in its development. We are excited about collaborating with Yahoo! on systems software research, helping to advance the state-of-the-art, and creating new research possibilities in this critical area,
Ron Brachman, vice president and head of Yahoo! academic relations, sums up the relevance of M45 in the Academic community:
Launching this program and M45 is a significant milestone in creating a global, collaborative research community working to advance the new sciences of the Internet. This milestone is a key element of Yahoo!’s growing Academic Relations effort.
Although different in what Google has announced two weeks ago on “collaboration and cooperation” among social networks, or mobile operators, once can’t help but notice the fact that Yahoo’s announcement is more substantive and specific than the generally over-hyped announcement that Google made recently. Yahoo’s M45 may not have as big as an impact as the Open Handset Alliance or OpenSocial, but at least Yahoo clearly stated what it wants to achieve and what it is doing to achieve it.
As pointed out by Matt Cutts in his posted comment below, Google and IBM have partnered with Univ. of Washington to undertake a similar initiative earlier than Microsoft did.