A collaboration between big science and big business, Helix Nebula joins the forces of leading IT providers and three of Europe’s leading research centres (CERN*, EMBL**, and ESA***), and has now received €1.8 million funding from the European Commission.
The initiative strongly supports the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe: It stresses a unified approach to data protection regulations and lightweight, efficient governance; it also has ambitions to support European economic development by making its services available to the wider community.
First results of the initiative’s on-going Proof of Concept (PoC) phase now show that CERN, EMBL and ESA succeeded in deploying challenging scientific applications each involving tens of thousands of jobs running at data centres operated by Atos, CloudSigma and T-Systems.
By getting the ATLAS experiment’s flagship application deployed quickly, CERN was able to run simulations that had previously been executed on the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, helping to build the case for the recent announcement related to the Higgs boson search. “These initial deployments have confirmed that building a multi-tenant, multi-provider public cloud infrastructure is a massive undertaking that will need a number of steps to complete. However, the first results are very encouraging and we are confident we can reach our goal during the two year pilot phase,” said Frédéric Hemmer, Head of CERN’s IT Department.
EMBL’s team successfully deployed and tested their novel software pipeline for large-scale genomic analysis on the different cloud provider infrastructures. Using real world large genomic data sets originating from EMBL’s sequencing machines, EMBL’s PoC extensively evaluated key elements such as scalability, performance and on-demand provisioning of resources for high performance computing and fast data storage in these clouds. Paul Flicek, Head of Vertebrate Genomics at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute explained: “Setting up sufficiently powerful computing infrastructures for genome analysis in the cloud is not trivial. Hence, we are very happy with the initial results from the PoC. These are important milestones towards making our software available to scientists worldwide later during the Helix Nebula pilot phase.”
“ESA has successfully tested large-scale data processing and dissemination from its radar satellites (ERS, Envisat) using different cloud provider infrastructures. The results have demonstrated that these applications can run on multiple providers, despite using different technologies. Thanks to these cloud assets and the modern communication tools, the global science community will be able to better exploit ESA’s large-scale data archive covering 20 years of Earth Observation and foster collaboration of science communities working in different domains,” commented Volker Liebig, Director for ESA Earth Observation Programmes.
Atos, CloudSigma and T-Systems have provided the cloud computing resources to host the flagships and were instrumental during this PoC phase.
Atos has been active in opening up its existing cloud services to research organizations. Michael Symonds, its Principal Solutions Architect, confirmed that: “Setting up a public style cloud for very demanding research organisations is very different to providing private enterprise cloud services to companies. It has taken a lot of effort but we are all pleased with these early results and are confident we can build on this in the future.”
Robert Jenkins, CTO of CloudSigma, which already operates a public cloud service, said: “Not only does this early success show we are on the right track but it is also helping us identify new business opportunities for cloud services in the public sector that we hope to develop during this pilot phase.”
Jurry de la Mar, Head of International Sales – Public Sector at T-Systems, the company which has been driving the work to define the governance model for this public-private partnership, concluded: “Like any successful team, we needed a small core to get things going. During 2012 we will be studying how to expand the consortium membership to include more suppliers, more applications and more public sector organisations.”
In addition to the infrastructure providers, SME’s such as SixSq, Terradue and The Server Labs were vital to get the flagship applications up and running. More scientific organisations and service providers are welcome to join Helix Nebula- the Science Cloud.
Helix Nebula current participants are: Atos, Capgemini, CERN, CloudSigma, Cloud Security Alliance, CNES, CNR IRIA, DLR, EMBL, ESA, European Grid Infrastructure, Interoute, Logica, the OpenNebula Project, Orange Business Services, SAP, SixSq, Telefonica, Terradue, Thales, The Server Labs, Trust-IT, and T-Systems.
For more details and updates about Helix Nebula - the Science Cloud, please consult our website, visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.Contacts:
***The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 19 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA's job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA's programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe.
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy