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September 5, 2012

This year's Turing Festival had a session called CERN: Big Questions, Big Science, Big Technology. Speakers talked about its history of physics theory, engineering, and computing.

February 2, 2011

A "Grid Job Failure" can throw a wrench in the best-laid plans. But the grid submission tool technical team can help.

October 20, 2010

Image of the Week - e-Science at the Globe

Image courtesy e-Science Talk

Do you want to know what e-science and e-infrastructures can do for your research?
If so, an important event about e-science is happening at the CERN Globe on Thursday 4th November 2010: the 8th e-Infrastructure Concertation Meeting. This event, organized by e-Science Talk, will gather key figures in the e-infrastructures' community and discuss the evolving distributed computing landscape. The aim of the two-day event is to talk about the long-term sustainability of e-infrastructure scientific research in Europe.
Keep your schedules free for Thursday 4th and Friday 5th November 2010: watch the event live on the upcoming webcast and join the online discussions to have your say.
More information to follow shortly so keep your eyes on the web.

June 23, 2010

Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?

Anyone who has seen the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey remembers the phrase “Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?” While it looks similarly futuristic, ATLAS (above) is the setting for something completely different — the ‘Dave’ dataset. Photo courtesy CERN

What is 45 days old, has visited 22 countries and already has close to 500 children but will outlive them all?
Dave the ATLAS dataset.
Born on the 30th of March, 2010 to his proud parents, the ATLAS detector and the LHC, Dave weighed in at just over 3 Terabytes. Very soon after that, he was sent to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) grid operations center,  and the team there have been tracking his progress through the grid world ever since.Dave is the result of accelerating two beams of protons in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and colliding them in the center of the ATLAS detector.
He is a selection of the collisions chosen by

March 4, 2009

Feature - Get it all with GridGuide Click on the map above for an interactive guide.  Image courtesy of GridGuide Want to know what science is on the grid, who the scientists are and where they work? Help is at hand with a new website launched today. GridGuide is an innovative introduction to the sites — and sights — that contribute to global grid computing, a technology that connects computers from around the world to create a powerful, shared resource for tackling complex scientific problems. The launch of GridGuide comes as part of the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) User Forum.While still a work-in-progress, the GridGuide website already allows visitors to explore an interactive map of the world, visiting a sample of the thousands of scientific institutes involved in grid computing projects. Sites from 23 countries already appear on the GridGuide, offering insider snippets on everything from research goals and grid projects to the best place to eat lunch and the pros and cons of their jobs. GridG

May 7, 2008

  Feature - Cell biologists dig new DiGS Cell biologists at the University of Edinburgh and University of Oxford are using grid technology called DiGS to support their investigation into the transport and anchoring of mRNA in Drosophila flies. Image courtesy of Wikipedia As cell biology moves from labs to computer desktops, researchers must deal with increasingly vast volumes of data. Traditional ways of sharing this data—such as physically shipping hard drives—just cannot keep up. UK Quantum Chromodynamics has been working to solve these data management challenges using grid technology since 2002, developing QCDGrid to share, publish and preserve their large datasets. And although UKQCD are a physics outfit, they’ve made their software—renamed DiGS or Distributed Grid Storage—available to the wider scientific community.First off the block: biology“The EPCC team focused initially on the needs of particle physicists,” explains George Beckett of the Edinburgh P

May 7, 2008

  Link of the week - Old friends and new: iSGTW, GridCafé, GridTalk and more The GridTalk project harnesses the successes of existing grid communication projects International Science Grid This Week and GridCafé, creating a central hub for European grid communications. GridTalk will also tackle new missions dedicated to deciphering grid policy and showcasing the human face of grid computing.Images courtesy of GridTalk A new editorial team...A big welcome to Dan Drollette and Anne Heavey, who will be producing all-new editions of iSGTW as of next week. Dan comes from a strong background in science journalism and Anne has been an iSGTW contributing editor since our launch. Both are keen to hear your grid-related news and announcements so please drop them a line anytime.A new partner and project...And welcome to EU project GridTalk. Co-funded by the European Commission, GridTalk was launched last week and aims to create a unified and cohesive approach to European grid communications. The projec

November 14, 2007

  Images of the week - Scenes from SC07 Pumping at the pinnacle of energy, innovation and computing power, SC07 is serving up the latest and greatest in IT to a record crowd this week in Reno, Nevada.Image courtesy of Douglas Mansell The Stony Brook University team are all smiles just prior to beginning their 44-hour race against the clock and five other undergraduate teams as part of the Cluster Challenge.Image courtesy of Douglas Mansell The Enabling Grids for E-sciencE stand showcases the achievements of EGEE, a project which brings together partners from 45 countries to create a grid strongly focused on interoperability and accessibility.Image courtesy of Jerry Newton Photography The Fermilab team, members of Open Science Grid, are demonstrating high bandwidth Tier-1 to Tier-2 LHC data transmission. The OSG duck can be found on OSG member stands throughout the exhibition.Image courtesy of John Urish Projects including AstroGrid, OMII, National Grid Service, NaCTeM, the London e-Science Centre and GridPP are highl

November 14, 2007

  Opinion - Celebrating one year of International Science Grid This Week iSGTW celebrates one year of reporting on grid computing initiatives across the globe. In the last six months, visits to the iSGTW Web site have increased almost six-fold and are continuing to rise. Images courtesy of iSGTWThis issue, International Science Grid This Week celebrates its first anniversary. Since our launch last year, interest in grids, cyberinfrastructure and distributed computing has skyrocketed. As one indicator, visits to the iSGTW.org site have increased almost six-fold over the last six months. The number of scientists using grid computing is also increasing, as is the level of resources now available to them.In the last year, the number of jobs run on the UK’s GridPP has more than doubled to approach one million jobs during October 2007. Altogether, in the last twelve months GridPP computers have run the equivalent of 26 million normalized CPU hours.The Open Science Grid e-infrastructure is now averaging 80,000 jobs a day&md

October 17, 2007

  Announcement - LHC@home makes new home in the UK LHC@home seeks to engage the community in the global effort to further physics, enabling volunteers to run SixTrack simulations of physics inside the Large Hadron Collider from the comfort of their own home.Images courtesy of LHC@home Researchers in the UK are gearing themselves up for an influx of help with the recent arrival of the successful LHC@home volunteer computing project at the Queen Mary University of London in England. Forty thousand people from more than 100 countries have already contributed the equivalent of about 3000 years on a single computer to LHC@home, which is migrating from its first home at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Running off the BOINC platform, LHC@home uses volunteer computing power to model the progress of sub-atomic particles traveling at nearly the speed of light around Europe’s newest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).Lyn Evans, head of the LHC project, says that, &ldqu

October 3, 2007

  Feature - EGEE ’07 stresses opportunities for cooperation, commercialization and continued innovation “In five years 80 percent of all scientific papers in all areas will be made in virtual laboratories. Fifty percent of social science documents will go the same way in five to ten years.” Ulf Dahlsten stressed the invaluable role of cyberinfrastructure in science.Images courtesy of Toth Csilla   This week’s EGEE ’07 conference is being held in the wake of a record-breaking quarter for the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE consortium, which has supported 100,000 jobs a day for the last three months using a grid infrastructure spanning 41,000 CPUs. Collaborators from 45 countries worked to achieve these results, combining the resources of 250 computing centers to create the EGEE grid. This kind of cooperation is the key to EGEE’s continued success, according to many of the conference’s plenary speakers.  “We cannot be good at everything,” said Ilona Vass, vice-president

October 3, 2007

Learn: Choose and start to use your grid

A few of the many grid projects available.Image courtesy of NorduGrid and Vicky White

Grid technology continues to improve and new grids and grid projects are appearing across the planet. From campus grids to massive international projects, opportunities to get involved with grids and e-science are growing.
But how do you get started? What jobs do the different grids support? Who can join? Will you need a computing degree to work it all out?
This article provides a quick snapshot of four very different grid infrastructures—Enabling Grids for E-sciencE, Open Science Grid, GridPP and TeraGrid—and provides an overview of what they’re doing and how you can get involved.
Enabling Grids for E-sciencE
Open Science Grid
GridPP
TeraGrid
 
Enabling Grids for E-SciencE
What do you do?
The Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project provides scientists and engineers from 48 countries with a seamless grid infrastructure for e-sc

September 19, 2007

  Feature - Coming ready or not: will we be ready for the LHC? The GridPP team are assessing the readiness of clusters across the UK, including this cluster at Birmingham University, part of SouthGrid.Image courtesy of GridPP With the Large Hadron Collider starting up next year, grid sites worldwide are ramping up their equipment and service levels in preparation for an expected flood of data. But, will they be ready—and can any problems they’re having be fixed in time? GridPP tests its readinessIn the UK, a team from GridPP, the UK particle physics grid, has recently completed a round of visits to 17 GridPP sites, aiming to assess how ready they are for the onslaught of data that will mark the beginning of the Large Hadron Collider experiment. Dave Britton, GridPP’s Project Manager, coordinated the process. “We wanted to check that each site would be ready for next year, and find out how we could help with any difficulties. The best way to do this was to visit each site individually, so we could tal

July 25, 2007

  Feature - UK Parliament gets up to speed on grid technology Could you explain the intricacies and potential of grid technology to your local parliamentarian, and all in the time it takes to eat breakfast? Stock image from morguefile If he can find time in his busy schedule, the UK’s new prime minister, Gordon Brown, can learn about grids with the launch of a new parliamentary briefing paper.The four-page introduction to grids and e-science has been produced for policy makers by the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). As well as discussing grid technology and some of the UK’s key projects, it looks at issues like security, licensing and, of course, funding.POST is part of the UK Parliament, working for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. For nearly 20 years POST has been informing UK Members of Parliament about policy issues with a foundation in science and technology, which can include anything from climate change to stem cell research.David Cope, POST’s director

July 11, 2007

  Opinion - Grid: goldmine for entrepreneurs? The ability to search through millions of images to locate specific content. Now what would that be worth? And where else to get the computing power for such technology but the grid?Image courtesy of Imense Who still includes access to electricity as a competitive advantage in their business? I don't.In his article ‘IT Doesn’t Matter’, published in the May 2003 edition of the Harvard Business Review, Nicholas Carr points out that such days are long gone, and he suggests IT is heading the same way. As the availability of IT increases, and its cost decreases, it will becomes less a strategic advantage, and more an everyday commodity that anyone can buy. The rapid development of virtualisation and distributed computing technologies, including grids, means that the paradigm shift predicted by Nicholas Carr could happen sooner rather than later.But what does this mean for scientists keen to become entrepreneurs? For big businesses, the grid value proposition is rat

June 13, 2007

  Feature - Grid usability on the up   This plot shows a marked increase in the success rate of test jobs run on GridPP over time. Image courtesy of GridPPBeing a grid user isn’t always straightforward. You might have 10,000 CPUs and terabytes of disk at your fingertips, but can you get your job to work on all of them—or any of them? Although there are many more grid users than there used to be, getting started on a grid, and getting it to do what you want, is still not for the faint hearted. Fortunately, there are people trying to make it easier. One of them is Steve Lloyd of Queen Mary, University of London. As part of his work on the ATLAS experiment, Lloyd has been sending jobs to grids such as GridPP and EGEE for years. But although many of his jobs went off without a hitch, Lloyd found some just kept failing, even though they were sent to a working site that passed all the grid’s tests. Six months ago, he decided to find out why. And as Chair of the GridPP collaboration in the UK, he was in a pos

April 11, 2007

Feature - GridPP: the UK grid for particle physics Simulated event of the collision of two protons in the ATLAS particle physics experiment.Image copyright CERNParticle physicists in the United Kingdom have built the country’s largest grid as part of the GridPP project. Developed to analyze data from the upcoming Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the grid currently spans 17 UK sites and includes almost 10,000 CPUs and more than 500 terabytes of data storage, with available storage reserves on disk and tape of 1.5 petabytes. It is also an integral part of the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project, contributing most of the computing power for the UK and Ireland regions.GridPP is a collaboration of all the UK universities with particle physics departments. It also includes Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Oxfordshire, which acts as the UK Tier-1 center for LHC computing. Steve Lloyd, GridPP’s chairman from Queen Mary, University of London, explains the structure: “Apart from the Tier-1, the GridPP sites are joined into

April 4, 2007

Image of the Week - LHC Exhibit at London's Science Museum Image courtesy of Neasan O'Neill, GridPP Yesterday the Science Museum in London unveiled the “Big Bang,” an exhibition celebrating the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator under construction at CERN. The exhibition showcases all aspects of the LHC. In the section devoted to grids, visitors can interact with GridPP’s Real Time Monitor display. The exhibit will run in Antenna, the museum’s science news gallery, from April 3–October 7. To learn more visit the Science Museum’s Web site.

February 21, 2007

Feature - Ensuring a Grid Without Boundaries The EUGridPMA members at the CCLRC Coseners House in Abingdon, England.Image courtesy of PPARC.  With more than 30 national Grids in Europe alone, the European Policy Management Authority for Grid Authentication must ensure that electronic identities will work across any boundaries. At last month’s meeting, its first ever held in the UK, the growing EUGridPMA considered bids for accreditation from Europe and Africa.“I was very pleased to welcome the EUGridPMA to the UK for the first time, especially as the PMA expanded its horizons,” said David Kelsey of CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and GridPP in the UK. “We are now closer to enabling access to the grid to all scientists wherever they are located.”Kelsey was an original organizer of efforts to build international trust among grids. EUGridPMA is one of three regional PMA’s within the International Grid Trust Federation. IGTF establishes requirements and best practices for identity manageme

January 31, 2007

Feature: GLUE for the Grid GLUE helps grid components stick together. A defining feature of a grid is that its components can change from minute to minute: storage, processors and sites join and leave, jobs start and finish and files are written and deleted. Resources can also vary widely, from disk to tape storage, different operating systems and processor types. But for the grid to work, the status and makeup of each of these contributions needs to be known, so that resources can be allocated to users, sites monitored and accounting data collected. For many of the world's scientific grids, this problem is solved by the Grid Laboratory Uniform Environment—or GLUE Schema. Many projects, such as Enabling Grids for E-sciencE, the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid and the Open Science Grid, use GLUE. The GLUE Schema is a common way of publishing information, developed by consortium of grid projects, including EGEE, OSG, the Australian Part

November 29, 2006

Feature: Studying grid society Social scientists are using grids for their research without ever submitting a job. They study grid technologies and grid communities, and how both develop and interact with each other. “I think it’s interesting to elicit the social elements behind technologies like the grid, and to make sense of technologies in social settings,” says one such social scientist, Will Venters from the London School of Economics. Grid computing is interesting to social scientists because it’s an emerging technology and has a large, diverse group of researchers involved in its creation. Venters is beginning a project to study how scientists developing a grid and those who will become its users influence each other. Claus Jacobs, from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, is nearing the end of a project that studied the dynamics between grid technologies and communities, and how members of the grid community organize

November 22, 2006

Feature: The Whole Universe, From the Comfort of Your PC

Image Credit NASA/CXC/SAO and AstroGrid

The universe is a big place, and studying it is an even bigger challenge. AstroGrid, a UK-government funded, open-source project, helps create universal access to observational astronomy data scattered around the globe.
“We needed to set up a system to meet the challenges that were coming about from new observational technologies,” explains Nicholas Walton from Cambridge University. “We used to answer our questions using one or two data sets. Now there is a lot more diversity in the data that’s around.”
The AstroGrid consortium, which consists of 11 UK university groups, represents astronomy and computing groups with backgrounds in handling and publishing such data. The consortium worked with international partners to agree upon standards for published observational astronomy data, so that all astronomers could int