IBM (NYSE:IBM) is teaming with Georgia Tech and Ohio State University to delve further into broad-scale computing environments in which computer systems regulate themselves much in the same way the autonomic nervous system regulates and protects the human body.

This “cloud computing” initiative will focus on virtual data-center operations that function similarly to the Internet by sharing resources across different physical locations. Research will focus on software applications to better accommodate the infrastructure demands of complex technologies. Many organizations rely on huge information systems, but are challenged with balancing system availability and performance.

This project will facilitate the research on how to rely on a virtual infrastructure to process data and manage maintenance schedules without jeopardizing critical data-center operations. IBM is providing the networking equipment and software for a prototype computing cloud that links data centers between the two universities, called the Critical Enterprise Cloud Computing Services (CECCS) facility.

The CECCS program will facilitate curriculum and and research that combines IBM’s extensive technical, autonomic computing and cloud computing expertise, Ohio State’s focus on IT processes and management issues, and Georgia Tech’s focus on creating new technologies and methods for managing complex, dynamic and diverse distributed service-oriented systems and applications