At attentionLast week Joyent launched its Academic Program, giving academic and research organizations free access to computing infrastructure available for teaching and research projects that require intensive compute capacity and performance. Educators, researchers and students worldwide can leverage Joyent’s cloud infrastructure software to teach advanced courses, conquer large compute research initiatives and explore new, challenging projects. Organizations that participate in the Joyent Academic Program will gain access to Joyent’s SmartDataCenter, the cloud infrastructure platform that runs Joyent Cloud and numerous other global private and public clouds.

The company’s Academic Program addresses three groups:

  • Institutions – Joyent will make SmartDataCenter and infrastructure designs freely available to qualified academic and research organizations. Joyent will also allow these academic compute environments to be used for unrestricted commercial offerings targeting the academic and research communities.
  • Academic Researchers – The Joyent Academic Program offers research grants and funded student and post-doc positions that use SmartOS, Node.js and Smart Datacenter. Grants and funding are available in the areas of “empirical” computer science, instrumentation, telemetry and data harvesting, data mining, SML, workload analysis and metrics, algorithm refinement and development, and data governance and security.
  • Professors – Joyent will offer teaching grants for courses and course development that use SmartOS, Node.js and SmartDataCenter, with particular interest in operating system, instrumentation and “empirical” computer science programs.

Supporting the education sector as a go-to-market investment

Joyent is arguably best known for its public cloud, using Joyent Accelerators of virtualized servers, network and storage. While most of its customers are on the public cloud, many of its large customers that have been running various scenarios especially test and development or disaster recovery on it, and are now considering proof-of-concepts for using Accelerators internally.

Joyent’s newly launched academic programme is laudable for its generosity and practical relevance. It is also the most recent initiative in a long IT industry history of supporting students for long term mind-share gain. For an aggregator like Joyent, letting prospective customers experience the service is the lowest cost go-to-market investment, albeit a long term bet.

Image credit: Charles Brown

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