Alumna’s head is in the clouds – cloud computing, that is!

When you hear the word "cloud" – are you picturing fluffy white cotton moving across the sky forming loose shapes of dogs or bunnies or ships? Or does your mind go to classifications such as stratus, cirrus, cumulonimbus?

Well, when Lina Battestilli hears the word cloud, she thinks "cloud computing" and smiles at the pride she feels about her contributions to the technology that is at the front-end of the marketplace. "Cloud computing" is the term that describes the desirable characteristics of the next generation computing. There a few main trademarks that describe the basis for "cloud computing". First, clouds can dynamically provide support to customers based on business need. The cloud can seamlessly accept more or less workloads and charge its customers accordingly. Next, the operations of the cloud are fully automated and everything is virtualized and simplified and can be managed remotely. Clouds have lower cost than traditional data centers and yet they provide better quality and service guarantees. Finally, and maybe most importantly, clouds provide more power and energy efficient computing.

Lina, a 2005 PhD graduate of NC State's Computer Science program, works on cloud computing in the Research Division at IBM. She conducts research that will help shape the next generation of network products. The input that Lina provides to system engineers today is used to develop new product technology for the future.

"Now is an exciting time to be in this industry. It's a big job. There are a lot of different optimization problems that will need to be solved. I love being part of emerging technologies and making a difference for the future."

Cloud computing is the future of computing. Current data centers may run hundreds of servers. In a few years, that number will increase by orders of magnitude. Lina is using her education and experience to identify problems and potential solutions for technologies and products that will be developed for this tremendous growth.

The most rewarding parts of Lina's career in computer science so far have been the doors that have opened to her and the flexibility it has allowed her. Lina has her PhD in computer science, a financially secure career, and a family. With her skills, she is able work remotely and earn a solid living while spending significant time with her two children. She also knows that by keeping herself current professionally, when her children are older, she can dive back into the workforce full time. Lina is taking full advantage of all that life has to offer.
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