"Because of the nature and size of the operation we do, the maths itself expresses that a supercomputer is the only thing that can do the job," Ewen explains. "I could rent a supercomputer to the cloud, but [the Met Office] can run a supercomputer more effectively than the cloud vendors can."
"Because of the size of the data, I can't actually move to the cloud, so I've got to be seen as part of the cloud infrastructure.
"Increasingly you'll see the Met Office pitch itself as a cloud vendor, and we will fulfil that role because it can't be fulfilled in any other way."
He says the organisation is trying to turn itself into a "platform as a service" - but always through an environmental lens. That will involve "lots of work on web service API enablement and towards creating a kind of open, international infrastructure."
"Our big future-looking plans are what are these technologies that allow us to safely, in a way the private sector is comfortable with, take their IP back to this big data, operate the algorithm, lock it up again, and get the answer back to them - as an alternative to firehosing data into the cloud."
Source: Computerworld UK
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.