By Robin Brooks
“We’re trying to help researchers collaborate,” said Rob Fatland, UW director of cloud and data solutions. “We’re advocating for their success. We offer options they may not realize are available to them.” added Amanda Tan, UW research computing cloud technology lead developer. The pair, who work at the eScience Institute, are the creators of Cloud Maven, a new website devoted to answering any and all questions about cloud computing.
Cloud Maven is an innovative website in two ways; first, it’s hosted on GitHub and allows readers to suggest changes and provide content to be added to the site. Secondly, it takes the unconventional approach of offering answers to questions on what otherwise might be considered proprietary material. This encourages collaboration, information sharing and an open science approach to research.
Cloud computing offers a vast array of benefits to researchers, including increased processing speed, vast, secure storage, data sharing, reproducibility options, and web applications which can provide managed services for users. Readers can learn more about the benefits and services offered through an easy-to-navigate web interface on the site.
As part of the eScience team, Fatland and Tan consult with researchers and graduate students to help them solve challenges through data science. Cloud Maven’s Cloud Case Study Precis page provides an engaging, easy-to-understand overview of the projects that they have been monitoring through their consulting services; topics run the gamut from library science and medical research to oceanography and much more.
The co-creators hope that the website offers answers to researchers’ questions so that they aren’t wasting their time, and Tan added that “There is help available. It doesn’t need to be daunting.”
“We’re part of a much bigger whole,” said Fatland, referring to the eScience Institute. “We have world-class professionals that can help.”