The 5th Alliance of Cloud Computing Technologies & Applications Conference2012/09/03
On August 31st, 2012, the National Center for High Performance Computing (NCHC) hosted the 5th Conference of Alliance of Cloud Computing Technologies & Applications (ACCTA), a platform for promoting the domestic exchange of cloud technologies, at its Hsinchu headquarters. Conference speakers included Prof. Lionel M. Ni of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Dean Kung-Ming Yu of the College of Computer Science and Informatics, Chung Hua University, Professor Gow-Hsing King of the Department of Information Management, Vanung University, General Manager Han-Chang Wu of ASUS Cloud Corporation, and Researcher Chia-Chen Kuo and Associate Researcher Chang-Hsing Wu, both of the NCHC. Also present at the conference as hosts were Manager Chen-Wei Lin of ASUS, Section Chief Meng-Feng Chiang of iS-Lang Technology, General Manager Chen-Chieh Lo of Mirle Automation Corporation, and Special Assistant Hsi-Chang Chen of In Win Development Inc. The conference brought together more than 80 specialists in the field so that they could share new information and exchange technologies and ideas.
The conference began with an opening speech by Director Kuo-Ning Chiang of the NCHC to welcome all of the attendees. Director Chiang told the attendees that Taiwan has been promoting cloud computing for many years, and that the NCHC will continue to dedicate great effort to the further development of cloud computing. The render farm, shared by Dr. Kuo in the afternoon session, was NCHC’s first result in this area. The NCHC’s current strategy for promoting cloud technologies is the joint development of hardware and software with a particular emphasis on software. The long-term objective of the project is to help Taiwan free itself from the role of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the world and, in turn, to develop sustainable soft power. Director Chiang also pointed out that ACCTA has great influence on domestic industry-academia technology exchanges, and he hoped that driving the continued development of cloud technologies via exchanges and collaboration will not just be a slogan, but will actually yield fruitful results in the future.
Prof. Ni of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology kicked off the conference with his presentation entitled “Smart Healthcare: From IOT to Cloud Computing.” In his talk, Prof. Ni pointed out that an aging population, chronic disease, and overall sub-standard health conditions are serious health issues facing Mainland China, but that China can only implement “passive medical care” due to its limited medical resources. In such dire circumstances, the all-inclusive “Internet of things” is one possible solution to China's situation. The "Internet of medical things" begins by integrating families, communities, hospitals, healthcare providers, and disease control centers into one, and then utilizes cloud technology to reduce the cost of information. This transforms passive medical care into active preventive medical care, thus, helping to resolve the difficulty and high costs associated with medical care.
Professor Ni further indicated that “sensors, knowledge, and action” are at the core of the "Internet of things." At present, sensors are relatively well-developed, but concluding knowledge from data and being able to take further action are, on the other hand, relatively underdeveloped. At the end of his speech, Professor Ni responded to the perspective of Director Chiang that software is an essential cause of the underdevelopment of cloud technologies and applications.
■Left: Director Kuo-Ning Chiang of the NCHC
■Right: Prof. Lionel M. Ni of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
■Left: Prof. Kung-Ming Yu of Chung Hua University
■Right: Prof. Gow-Hsing King of Vanung University
Prof. Kung-Ming Yu of Chung Hua University introduced the most current R&D results under the topic of “A Service System for the Bicycle Tourism Community Based on Cloud Technologies,” the focus of which is on actual real-life cloud computing-based applications. In addition to introducing the new tourism service platform built using cloud technologies, Professor Yu indicated that this application can effectively drive the development of domestic green industries and, at the same time, increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of ecological tourism.
Prof. Gow-Hsing King of Vanung University focused on cloud applications in financial transactions and gave a presentation entitled “GPU Applications in Arbitrage and Hedge of Convertible Bonds.” According to Prof. King, although the market for convertible bonds shrank due to the global financial crisis in 2008, they are still worth investing in, considering that investors can choose to be aggressive or defensive in their investment strategies. A convertible bond analysis system requires rapid computer processing due to the large amount of data it contains, thus, making it necessary to apply cloud and GPU technologies for accelerating the processing speed. Professor King showed that the new cloud system is capable of providing more accurate assessments of convertible bonds, and that clear information will help to make the market even more transparent.
For the afternoon session, ACCTA’s Secretary-General Hsi-Ya Chang reported on the affairs of the ACCTA and introduced features of ACCTA conferences and technical courses. Next up was General Manager Han-Chang Wu of ASUS Cloud Corporation. Mr. Wu shared ASUS's business layout and technology development experience as a Cloud Corporation. He stated that ASUS's cloud system aims to resolve the various issues between people and data, with the intention of creating an ecological cloud circle that includes individuals, enterprises, and creativity clouds. Mr. Wu used the development of APP, a current trend in cloud computing, as an example to make the point that, although many people in Taiwan have joined the industry, most of them still hold the old OEM concepts, and that this is troublesome for the industry. He stated his opinion that the new cloud platform can provide better resources to facilitate the development of APP and enable Taiwan’s ecological cloud circle to become more robust.
■Left: Secretary-General Hsi-Ya Chang of the ACCTA
■Right: General Manager Han-Chang Wu of ASUS Cloud Corporation
■Left: Researcher Chia-Chen Kuo of the NCHC
■Right: Associate Researcher Chang-Hsing Wu of the NCHC
Cloud technologies have great potential for application in the cultural and creative industry and are capable of driving industrial upgrades to knowledge innovation. Researcher Chia-Chen Kuo of the NCHC explained how render farm, built by the NCHC in 2011, benefits Taiwan’s movie animation industry. She went on to introduce the NCHC's most current developments and applications in the field. Since the NCHC began providing remote rendering services to industry and academia six months ago, more than 40 TB of data has been output, thus illustrating the high demand for rendering resources in Taiwan. The software and hardware platform integrated by the NCHC has not only helped to popularize the use of render farm in Taiwan, but also benefited the application of cloud technologies in academia.
Finally, the NCHC’s Associate Researcher Chang-Hsing Wu introduced “Ezilla,” the NCHC's in-house developed software used for cloud-based virtual cluster deployment. Ezilla is used to easily create a cloud and webpage interface for users to access computing resources in a virtual or physical environment. Ezilla links together storage, networking, and computing to help Taiwan further develop cloud applications.
The rich content of this conference is sure to inspire more collaboration and application exchange between its attendees. It is expected that Taiwan’s cloud capabilities will be brought to an even higher level during the next conference!