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In this paper the authors present the experience in building the Research Compute Cloud (RC2), a cloud computing platform for use by the worldwide IBM Research community. Within eleven months of its official release RC2 has reached a community of 631 users spanning 34 countries, and serves on average 350 active users and 1800 active VM instances per month. Besides offering a utility computing platform across a heterogeneous pool of servers, RC2 aims at providing a living lab for experimenting with new cloud technologies and accelerating their transfer to IBM products. This paper describes the experience in designing and implementing a flexible infrastructure to enable rapid integration of novel ideas while preserving the overall stability and consumability of the system.
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