I have left Microsoft and this blog is no longer under my control. All of the content should remain for some time however and any new updates can be found at http://davedev.net.
-Dave, September 2013
Via my teammate Peter Laudati…
How does learning about cloud computing while contributing to scientific research sound to you? Join us for @home with Windows Azure to get a solid understanding of the Windows Azure platform while giving back to a very deserving cause.
Microsoft provides a 90-day free trial of Windows Azure where you can kick the tires and run an application in the cloud 24x7, cost-free. Why not use that free compute time to give back to a deserving cause? The @home with Windows Azure project is an online activity where you use those 90-days of free compute time (or your MSDN Subscriber benefits) to contribute to Stanford University’s Folding@home distributed computing project.
The Folding@home project helps scientists provide insight into the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Mad Cow disease, ALS, and some cancer-related syndromes, by running protein folding simulations on thousands of machines world wide.
You will deploy Stanford’s Folding@home application to Windows Azure, where it will execute protein folding simulations in the cloud, thus contributing to the research effort. In essence, your participation is a donation of your free compute time to the Folding@home project!
It’s easy to get started in 4 quick steps. The @home with Windows Azure site has a series of short, easy to follow along to, screencasts that walk you through deploying Folding@home to the cloud!
Want to go deeper? Join the @home team for a live webcast or catch one of their recordings on demand to learn more about Windows Azure, including: compute & storage services, debugging in the cloud, and patterns for achieving scale.
In addition to directly contributing CPU cycles to the Folding@home project, from the start of March 2012, Microsoft is donating $10 (up to a maximum of $5000) to Stanford’s Pande Lab for everyone that participates!
You can see your impact by visiting the detailed World Stats page on the @home with Windows Azure site. For example, to date, over 6,300 VMs have contributed over 3.5 million compute hours!!!
Learn more about the project and join in at the project’s website: http://distributedcomputing.cloudapp.net