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Content about Middleware

February 23, 2011

Many more people responded to the first grid middleware survey than expected. What do the preliminary results say?

January 28, 2011

The upcoming ISGC 2011 (International Symposium on Grids and Clouds 2011) conference, in conjunction with OGF31 (Open Grid Forum), will be held in Taipei, Taiwan from 21 - 25 March 2011. Please visit here to register for this joint event. We welcome you to register before 28 February 2011 to enjoy the Early Bird rates!

November 3, 2010


Project Profile - From grids to clouds and beyond: GRNET supports Greek researchers

The Acropolis from Philipapou Hill at sunset, Image courtesy Tim Rogers, stock.xchng

All Greek universities get their internet from one source: GRNET (Greek Research and Education Network), a company supported by the Greek state, which connects them both to each other and to the larger pan-European academic network, GÉANT.
GRNET’s mission is to get universities on line, to provide computing power and storage, and to develop services for researchers. Not the least of which is providing technical know-how and supporting schools and universities in Greece. “GRNET is actually a human network — this is the most important thing about it,” says Kostas Koumantaros, member of GRNET in Athens. “We transfer know-how between universities throughout Greece. It is a good vehicle to both promote research in Greece and for us to learn from our international collabora

October 6, 2010

Announcement - NZ eResearch Symposium, 26-27 October, Auckland, New Zealand

The University of Auckland’s Fale Pasifika (above) is a traditional symbol of the Pacific Island. This Fale is the second largest such structure in the world. In addition to the traditional fale building, the Center complex includes academic offices, classrooms and a multi-media laboratory. Photo courtesy NZ eResearch Symposium

Register now for the 1st NZ eResearch Symposium online , to be held at the Owen G Glenn Building and the Fale Pasifika, at The University of Auckland.
Our NZ eResearch Symposium is a forum for NZ’s research sector and nascent eResearch community, being those involved in using, developing, and supporting applications and services that take advantage of distributed collaboration platforms for team science, including grid middleware, high performance computing, data infrastructure, advanced video-conferencing, and advanced research networks. This is also an opportunity to meet l

September 29, 2010

Announcement - ALENEX11 papers due 5 October

This spot on Telegraph Hill overlooks the bay in San Francisco, where ALENEX11 will take place. Image courtesy of Wally Gobetz, under Creative Commons 2.0.

The Workshop on Algorithm Engineering and Experiments (ALENEX11) will be held on 22 January 2011 at the Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, San Francisco, California, US; papers are due 5 October 2010.
The aim of the ALENEX workshop is to provide a forum for presentation of original research in the implementation and experimental evaluation of algorithms and data structures. We invite submissions that present significant case studies in experimental analysis (such studies may tighten, extend, or otherwise improve current theoretical results) or in the implementation, testing, and evaluation of algorithms for realistic environments and scenarios, including specific applied areas (for example, databases, networks, operations research, computational biology and physics, computational ge

September 15, 2010

Feature - One person’s view, behind the scenes of middleware

EMI tries to pull together three different middlewares. Image courtesy EMI

John White, security team leader of EMI, discusses his work.iSGTW: Can you explain to me what EMI stands for?White: European Middleware Initiative. EMI unifies under one project the three middlewares that have been put together over the past six years: gLite, ARC and Unicore.
Each of these middleware do different things; for example, Unicore runs inside high-performance computing centers like a ‘monster’ supercomputer, while gLite typically runs over a distributed system, such as a farm of 1,000 or 2,000 batch nodes — which can be anything from a cluster of batch nodes or a group of white, ‘pizza box’ type home-PCs. We used to have these at CERN up until a few years ago.iSGTW: What is your role?White: I have a few roles; my most important is as security area leader of the security components of all three midd

August 11, 2010

Announcement - WLCG middleware from CESGA

Image courtesy CESGA

Parts of the middleware that the WLCG relies upon will come from software developed by the Super-computing Center of Galicia, Spain (CESGA), a super-computing center that has developed an accounting portal for gLite middleware. This portal is used to analyse the computer usage on the grid network to primarily understand, from a statistical perspective, the distribution of resources. CESGA will continue to maintain the accounting portal when the EGI is in full swing and will collaborate with grid projects in each European country under the EGI umbrella. These countries will have their own National Grid Initiatives (NGI) that will feed back to EGI management.Additionally, the Galician Super-computing center has developed a metrics portal, which automatically gathers information to quantify, and objectively measure project progress and achievements quickly. Moreover, CESGA is currently collaborating with the LIP Association (Por

June 2, 2010

Feature - EMI, home to middleware

Photo courtesy EMI

Who will look after distributed computing middleware in the European Grid Infrastructure-era?
A new project is poised to become the answer to that question.
The goal of the European Middleware Initiative (EMI)l is to pull together the best middleware experts in Europe. Working together, they will improve and standardize the dominant existing services to produce simplified and interoperable middleware.
Specifically, the experts that it will work with come from ARC (a product of NorduGrid), gLite (EGEE’s product), Unicore and dCache.
EMI will be the major software provider for EGI, empowering the EGI infrastructure with more stable, useable and manageable software.
“The innovation in EMI is that for the first time the major middleware producers in Europe are working together in the same project to produce the actual middleware used by the major infrastructures, like EGI and PRACE,” says Alberto Di Meglio, EMI p

May 26, 2010

Feature - Wireless grids: Squeezing a grid onto a widget

This diagram shows the layers from which WiGiT is composed.
Image courtesy WiGiT.

As wireless devices become increasingly common, and common devices become increasingly “smart,” wireless grids become increasingly practical. That means that the timing is perfect for WiGiT, a wireless grid testbed which will begin testing its alpha software in June.
The purpose of WiGiT (Wireless Grids innovation Testbed), according to the Syracuse University project leader Lee McKnight, is to refine open specifications for a wireless grid standard, and create a stable platform for experimentation.
“With WiGiT we expect to be able to do these large scale experiments from campus to campus, and we can run little experiments on that,” McKnight said. “Open specifications will make it easier for others to latch on.”
WiGiT, a National Science Foundation-Partners for Innovation program-funded collaboration between

May 19, 2010

Feature - Technology roundup: Science gateways and portals may level the playing field

Baseball diamond in a small town at night. Image courtesy Joe Y Jiang, Creative Commons

Our guest writer is Elizabeth Leake of TeraGrid — the high-performance, distributed computing network in the US. At the recent EGEE User Forum in Sweden, attendees had a chance to learn about two general-purpose portal engines and two domain-oriented portals. What these technologies have in common is the ability to act as “science gateways,” ultimately allowing new communities of researchers better access to advanced computing, thus leveling the playing field — a key part of “eScience.” Here is a round-up of some of the features pf these gateways, and who is developing them:VCR
Milan Prica from Sincrotrone Trieste, an independent laboratory in Italy, presented an advanced web portal with virtual collaboration features. The latest version of Virtual Control Room (VCR) inc

May 5, 2010

Feature - Frontier guides computing through the collision landscape

Just like you might have trouble navigating using this antique map, detector experiments can’t make sense of their data using an out-of-date map of their detector. Image courtesy Boston Public Library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center under Creative Commons license

The colossal particle detectors that monitor collisions at the Tevatron in Illinois and the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland are unique beasts.
Scientists design most of the parts inside them to meet an individual set of specifications. But every once in a while, they find something the detectors can share.
Scientists at the CMS and ATLAS experiments at CERN are using a software system that Fermilab’s Computing Division originally designed for the CDF experiment at the Tevatron. The system, called Frontier, helps scientists distribute at lightning speed information needed to interpret collision data. The system is based upon the wid

April 14, 2010

Research Report - Turning the microscope inwards: Studying scientific software ecosystems As an example, this slide displays the logos of all of the software in the Eclipse software ecosystem. Image courtesy of James Howison and James Herbsleb. Almost every workflow that generates scientific results today involves software: from configuration and control of instruments, to statistical analysis, simulation and visualization. This means that creating and maintaining software is a significant activity in scientific laboratories, including science and engineering virtual organizations. Our research group at Carnegie Mellon University is examining scientific software as an ecosystem, seeking to understand the circumstances in which software is created and shared. The goal of this Open Science Grid project is to identify effective practices and provide input to science funding policy. Towards this end, the OSG/CMU Scientific Software Ecosystem Workshop was held 16-17 February 2010 in Los

March 31, 2010

Link of the week - eScience and Google Summer of Code

This summer marks the sixth edition of Google Summer of Code. Around 1000 student programmers from around the world will be offered a $5000 stipend to work with one of 152 open source mentor organizations, creating a substantial body of new open source code.
Last week Google announced this year’s list of participating open source projects, and a number of them are closely tied with grids, clouds, or computer-assisted science.
Is your project missing from this list? Email us to have it added!
ASCEND – A software program for solving small to very large mathematical models, including non-linear equations, linear and non-linear optimization problems, and dynamic systems expressed in the form of differential/algebraic equations.
Encyclopedia of Life – A single portal providing information on all 1.9 million known species by aggregating data from thousands of sites using novel informatics tools. Sponsored by the Marine Biol

March 24, 2010

Feature - Grant ensures sustainable future for software

HECToR, seen here, is the UK’s national supercomputer service, and is run by an organization called the EPCC.  Image courtesy HECToR

A Software Sustainability Institute (SSI)  has just been established, with the aid of a grant of £4.2 million (roughly about 6.4 million US Dollars, or 4.7 million Euros, as of press time) from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, or EPSRC.
Software was highlighted as a key facility needed for high quality research, in a recent study. A team of academics and software engineers based at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, and led by the EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, will work in partnership with the research community to manage software beyond the lifetime of its original funding, so that it is strengthened, adapted and customi

January 27, 2010


Announcement - Call for papers, CLADE, deadline 1 March, Chicago

Under the ‘El’ in Chicago.
Image courtesy of Brad Martyna, stock.exchng

Papers are now being accepted for CLADE (Challenges of Large Applications in Distributed Environments); the deadline is 1 March for this Chicago, Illinois, event.
Subjects to be covered at CLADE are applicable to science, engineering, medicine, business, economics, education, and other disciplines. They  include recent results on large scale  innovative applications that use distributed heterogeneous and dynamic computing environments.
Topics of interest will illustrate advances in:

Large-scale distributed applications, both computation- and data-centric
Application-specific portals in distributed environments
Distributed problem-solving environments
Distributed, collaborative science applications
Large, distributed data analysis
Applications with heterogeneous spatial and temporal characteristics

January 27, 2010

Feature: Grids and clouds - reaching for the next phase

A composite image of the Cat’s Eye Nebula with data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue) and Hubble Space Telescope (red and purple). This cloud of dust and gas is about 3,000 light-years from Earth. The hybridization of grids and clouds seems considerably closer than that. Image courtesy Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

“This is not a replacement technology,” says Ignacio Llorente, “This is the next phase of evolution for grids.”
Llorente coordinates ‘virtual machine’ management  for RESERVOIR, an EC-supported project standing for Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers, that works to enable deployment and management of complex IT services across different administrative domains. This project began collaborating with EGEE in June 2009 to marry the advantages and practicalities of cloud computing with grid technology.
After starting in February 2

January 13, 2010

Feature - Transferring FTP to the cloud: Off of desktop, out of mind

Kettimuthu’s team chose the 10 terabyte data set shown in this image for the Bandwidth Challenge. The data, which comes from the World Climate Research Program Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, simulates temperature change at the Earth’s surface and zonally-averaged throughout the atmosphere from 1900-2100. Image courtesy of Rajkumar Kettimuthu.

Don’t shut down. Don’t reboot. Don’t disconnect. And don’t even think about closing the window. Securely and rapidly transferring large amounts of data with GridFTP comes with a lot of “don’ts.”
That’s why the Globus Alliance team led by Steve Tuecke, a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, decided to create a hosted data movement service dubbed
Take a 10 terabyte transfer using GridFTP as an example. “On a typical network it takes about two days,” said

November 18, 2009

Feature - A tool for reaching the cloud

There are a many different clound providers to choose from. Image courtesy UCAR

Utility computing is a way for potential clients — whether they are a business or an academic researcher — to match the cost of their computing and storage needs to their demand for these resources. Suppose you need the resources of 1,000 computers, but for only one day per week. Using on-demand utility computing such as clouds allows you to purchase the resources just for the one day, which can result in substantial cost-savings.
Faced with the challenge of developing dynamic, service-focused infrastructures for the media and financial sectors — where data is often subject to rapid peaks and troughs in demand (consider how quickly breaking news develops and how traders on Wall Street react to it) — the Belfast e-Science Center BeSC found that to best exploit the benefits of cloud technology daily, the user needs the opti

November 18, 2009

Feature - HSVO connects the dots A screen capture of HSVO's patient simulator user interface. This mock-up of the patient simulator used videos from a training scenario in which students had to save the life of a teenager severely injured during a basketball game. An advanced mannequin stands in for the teenager. During this particular scenario, the students and mannequin were located in Montreal, the mannequin operator and a tutor were in Ottawa, and another tutor was located in Sudbury, Ontario. Image courtesy of McGill University and HSVO. Don’t let the name of Health Services Virtual Organization fool you. If HSVO is a success, it will be proof of concept for generic middleware that enables cloud-based workflows to access any number of services. And that could have implications for any scientific field. Web portals that give researchers access to data, services, applications and computational resources are becoming increasingly common. Researchers can access a variety of servi

October 14, 2009

Feature - Putting Linux on the grid

Popular middleware flavours are now included as part of the standard selection box for Debian and Fedora users. Image courtesy Karen Andrews, stock.xchng

In the field of grid computing, Globus has long been a major brand. One of the earliest grid middleware solutions, the Globus Tookit is not only a popular middleware flavor, but it also offers important building blocks for many other grid solutions, including the ARC middleware produced by the KnowARC project.
Now, KnowARC has brought Globus and VOMS (The Virtual Organization Membership Service) to the Debian and Fedora Linux distributions. These packages are also available in Ubuntu, as they take packages from Debian automatically. Furthermore, they are also in EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux), an add-on repository for RedHat Enterprise Linux and derivatives such as CentOS and Scientific Linux that are maintained by Fedora.
The ARC middleware relies on a number of Globus libraries in thei

September 30, 2009

Q & A - Smart data handling: An interview with Tevfik Kosar

Image courtesy Tevfik Kosar

In e-science, we are constantly striving to improve performance and speed so that we can complete a larger number of more complex computations faster. Tevfik Kosar, a researcher at Louisiana State University, is working on two intertwined projects that could together lead to the sorts of improvements we hope for. Read on to find out what he had to say.
iSGTW: You just received a National Science Foundation grant to work on the Stork Data Scheduler. Can you tell us a little about that project?
Kosar: The funding for the development of Stork Data Scheduler comes from NSF's Strategic Technologies for CyberInfrastructure program. The STCI program funds innovative cyberinfrastructure services which have the potential to significantly advance research capabilities in multiple areas of science and engineering. The grant will provide three years of funding for the enhancement of the Stork Data Scheduler

September 23, 2009

Project develops new standards for sharing between grids

Authorization Interoperability Project members , left to right, Oscar Koeroo (NIKHEF), Gabriele Garzoglio (Fermi National Accelerator Lab), and Frank Siebenlist (Argonne National Laboratory). Photo courtesy Open Science Grid.

Although the Grid is all about resource sharing, the software that governs individual grids has not always been capable of interacting well. The Grid Authorization Interoperability Project has created a new standard that could change that.
Grids make their computational and storage resources available online for use by others through software known as gateway middleware. To access a grid, a user presents her credentials—certification that she has rights to access that grid’s resources—to a resource gateway. The gateway in turn talks to an authorization system, local to the grid the user is accessing, in order to assign the appropriate privileges to the user.
Most grids have independently d

June 10, 2009

Feature - Do more with MATLAB

Using MATLAB on EGEE middleware, researchers can make a better laser - such as this solid state Cornellium Cn3+ laser created by a sapphire crystal. Image courtesy MATLAB Central

Researchers from disciplines as far apart as lasers and finance have a new computing tool at their fingertips: MATLAB can now run on Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) computing power. The software is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables users to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages such as C, C++, and Fortran. Widely regarded as a  powerful piece of simulation software, for use in everything from optimizing rocket launch control settings to vector analysis, it is now fully compatible with any grid computing system using gLite middleware.“Our motivation for incorporating this tool was rather straightforward. MATLAB is one of the most popular and important general-purpose scientific software

May 27, 2009

Announcement - Grid solutions track at Linux Days, 5 June, Geneva, Switzerland

Image courtesy LinuxDays. Click on image above for full-size official poster 


Can grid technology give your company a competitive advantage? The Grid Solutions Track organized by the EGEE Business Forum, 5 June 2009, during LinuxDays 2009 is designed to illustrate how IT strategists from both the private and public sectors can benefit by adopting grid computing. “EGEE is now in a position to take a variety of solutions to the market through several commercial companies offering gLite based solutions,” says Steven Newhouse, Technical Director of EGEE. “This ‘Grid Solutions’ track is a prime opportunity to showcase what EGEE and gLite has to offer.” Experts will explain the options that are available for implementation, and advise on how to avoid pitfalls. The company Constellation Technologies will offer a snapshot of their higher level, value-added serv

May 27, 2009

Announcement - Parallel Programming and Cluster Computing, 9-15 August, Norman, OK, U.S.

Image courtesy of the University of Oklahoma 


Registration is open for Parallel Programming & Cluster Computing, to be held at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, from 9-15 August.
This workshop will focus on techniques and tools for parallel computing. Much of it will concentrate on distributed parallelism (MPI); in addition, shared memory parallelism (OpenMP), instruction level parallelism, Graphics Processing Unit parallelism and hybrid shared/distributed parallelism are also explored.
Participants will learn about developing, debugging, profiling and tuning of parallel applications across a variety of architectures, using tools from a variety of sources, including GNU, Intel, TotalView, and the Bootable Cluster CD. The material is designed for undergraduate faculty from a variety of disciplines who would like to add parallel computing to their undergraduate teach