iSGTW - International Science Grid This Week
iSGTW - International Science Grid This Week

Home > iSGTW 4 November 2009

Issue 149: iSGTW 4 November 2009

FOOTWAYS takes its first steps

What’s the connection between Normandy apple farmers and the back of a garage 314 kilometers away, filled with computing gear?


To protect their crop, farmers must use insecticide to fight off apple worm caterpillars. However, they don’t want to pollute the rivers and groundwater in doing so.

But if they use too little, the treatment will not be effective.

To solve this problem, farmers could turn to software tools developed as part of a recent European project. But that only contains a library of set combinations of climates, pesticides, crops and soils.

What they really wanted is something that gives customized information for their specific, unique set of conditions — a task ideal for distributed computing.

Enter a researcher who saw an opportunity. In 2008, Igor Dubus withdrew €13,000 from his bank account and bought tailor-made machines, cabling, a switch and a router, to cobble together a 96-node computer cluster in his home. Last summer, he quit his research job and created the company ‘FOOTWAYS,’ with plans of scaling up from his “garage-cluster” to a 12,000-node network.

Remarkably, he’s “not an IT person.” He said: “I’d never seen a router switch before.”

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As GPU-enhanced clusters become common, more and more will be hooked up to grids. The Magic supercomputer connected to two grids earlier this year. How does that connection work now, and how could it work in the future?

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Overheard at the IT conference

 Clouds in Geneva

How do business leaders define cloud computing?

‘A way of getting computer needs on demand — a bit like getting water piped to your home, but paying by the drink, not the bottleful’ was one summary.

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News of the week

/ Vietnam's hospitals get new “HOPE”

Three of the newest grid sites to join the world’s largest grid computing infrastructure.

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Image of the week


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 iSGTW 22 December 2010

Feature – Army of Women allies with CaBIG for online longitudinal studies

Special Announcement - iSGTW on Holiday

Video of the Week - Learn about LiDAR


NeHC launches social media

PRACE announces third Tier-0 machine

iRODS 2011 User Group Meeting

Jobs in distributed computing


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 Mark your calendar

December 2010

13-18, AGU Fall Meeting

14-16, UCC 2010

17, ICETI 2011 and ICSIT 2011

24, Abstract Submission deadline, EGI User Forum


January 2011

11, HPCS 2011 Submission Deadline

11, SPCloud 2011

22, ALENEX11

30 Jan – 3 Feb, ESCC/Internet2


February 2011

1 - 4, GlobusWorld '11

2, Lift 11

15 - 16, Cloudscape III

More calendar items . . .


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