Yahoo Donates 200 Servers to Georgia Tech

Oct 21, 2014

By Seth Tropper image The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have something new to buzz about this week. On Monday, Yahoo gifted Georgia Tech 200 servers! These servers, donated through our Y-STAR program (Yahoo Servers To Academic Researchers), will significantly contribute to Georgia Tech’s education and research activities by enabling a large-scale, hands-on education experience for undergraduate and graduate students, and opening up new possibilities for data-intensive research. Supporting the academic community is one of the top priorities at Yahoo Labs; and the vision of the Labs’ Academic Relations group is to help Yahoo be one of the first companies that academics think of for new research or business collaborations, employment opportunities, inspiring and entertaining online products, open publications, tools, and datasets. This donation represents yet another milestone between Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech’s collaboration efforts. Yahoo continues to maximize the impact of its partnership with the scientific community by building deep relationships with Georgia Tech and other select research institutions, and fostering collaborative research through multiple dynamic mechanisms – including unique world-class datasets, diversity and event support, bilateral visits and guest talks, project grants and merit-based awards. These servers will support and enable increased research and education efforts at Georgia Tech, in the College of Computing, College of Engineering, and several other schools. Georgia Tech has several courses on parallel computing, high-performance computing, data and visual analytics, and these servers donated by Yahoo will significantly broaden the scope of these courses, and attract more students from different backgrounds to take them. Many students have already expressed strong interest in using the servers for research and development, and for high-volume data analysis in machine learning and graph mining.

  Georgia Tech has already targeted some potential applications for these servers, which may include: ·      parallel, distributed computing problems, projects and platforms (e.g., Hadoop, Spark, HBase, etc.) ·      data-intensive research on sustainability, bioinformatics, healthcare analytics, simulation and modeling, and numerical computing ·      power modeling of energy-efficient, large-scale computing ·      hybrid computation approaches that bridges the field of high-performance computing and data-intensive computing The Y-STAR Program has been made possible by a partnership between two Yahoo organizations: Labs Academic Relations and Technology Operations. Rather than dispose of older Yahoo servers, Y-STAR was established to refurbish and donate them to university researchers as enablers of cutting-edge academic research. This initiative began just three years ago, and including this donation of 200 servers to Georgia Tech, Y-STAR has donated more than 3,400 servers globally (~2,900 in the US) valued at just under $1.4M. This program has been very well received by faculty and students; has enhanced collaboration between top academic researchers and Yahoo scientists and engineers; and has greatly enhanced Yahoo’s presence and visibility on campus.