Recently, the Microsoft Research team blogged about a cool project called CloudLab, which was developed by a team of students enrolled in CS210, Project-Based Computer Science Innovation & Development at Stanford University. During the course, Microsoft External Research challenged students to make satellite data more accessible to environmental scientists, with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory serving as the team's customers. The result was CloudLab, which utilizes the Windows Azure platform to remove the heaviest work from the desktop and put it in the cloud, where there is far more computing power and accessibility.
The benefits of this project are threefold: for students, this project enabled them to gain practical insight into many applied aspects of computer science, such as source control and agile programming methodologies; for Stanford, projects like these enable the continued refinement its academic offerings based on real-world examples; and, for the rest of us, this demonstrates the unique benefits of building a solution on Windows Azure that can meet real business challenges.
Read the full blog post by Microsoft Research here.