Glassgow University built a cloud platform from Raspberry Pi's and Lego

The University of Glasgow has created a working model of a multi-million pound cloud computing platform using Lego bricks and Raspberry Pi mini-computers.

The project, which is called Raspberry Pi Cloud, is the idea of four lecturers at the University’s School of Computing. The four doctors believed that the knowledge about the cloud will play a very important role in their students’ future as IT professionals. But it was hard for researchers and students to develop a good practical knowledge due to the secrecy nature of how cloud computing infrastructure works.

According to one of the lecturers, “For an initial investment of less than £4,000, we’ve been able to build a Linux-based system which allows researchers and students complete access to a working cloud computing infrastructure at a tiny fraction of the cost of its commercial equivalent,”

56 Raspberry Pis were used in the first project, but according to the doctors, the number of Raspberry Pi can be easily scaled up or down when required. And the rack for the 56 Raspberry Pis was made from Lego bricks, which will mimic the modular design as well as the function, of a cloud computing infrastructure.

According to another lecturer, Dr Whie, "Our Raspberry Pi system gives us ... a very clear correspondence between the hardware and the software, and a physical setup which is very similar to how racks of servers work in real data centres. We’ve been really inspired by having a practical model to experiment with."

Currently, the Raspberry Pi Cloud project is available for students and researchers to work on. And the lecturers behind the project said they are hoping to make cloud computing a key part of the university’s teaching program in the future.

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