Chameleon: Advancing Cloud Research

New platform gives computer scientists ability to develop promising cloud computing future


Published on June 10, 2016 by Makeda Easter

Chameleon: Advancing Cloud Research


The hallmark feature of the chameleon is its color-changing skin. Like the chameleon, Chameleon, the supercomputer, is defined by its adaptability. It gives computer scientists the control to make changes to the way the system operates to accomodate their research.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Chameleon is an experimental testbed supported by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and the Computation Institute (CI) at the University of Chicago.

"While other TACC production systems support science that makes use of large scale computing, we've never had a way for researchers to experiment on the computing systems themselves. Chameleon provides a platform for computer scientists and other researchers to explore techniques and tools to make cloud computing systems and future computing platforms more effective," said Dan Stanzione, executive director at TACC and a co-investigator.

Although Chameleon has been in production for less than a year, there have been more than 600 researchers working on 150 projects using the system. In this short time, Chameleon provided a platform for the research community to explore transformative concepts in deeply programmable cloud services, design, and core technologies.

From teaching students to solve real world science problems, to increasing the capacity for HPC research, to protecting national security by improving cybersecurity, this Special Report allows you to dive into examples of the transformative research that Chameleon is enabling.