Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Grids get down to business

15.10.2008
New technology developed by European researchers allows companies to deploy their business processes using grid computing and, even better, it validates a platform that gives easy access to grid resources. It is a big deal.

Grid computing, desktop networks that share computer resources, were a big deal in the 1990s when they first started to appear. They allowed the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to borrow from volunteer computers the enormous computing resources required to analyse the background hum of the Universe. So far the enthusiasts have had no luck finding proof that ET phoned home, so the world lost interest in grids.

But serious science has taken to the power of supercomputing for solving grand challenges like protein-folding analysis, climate modelling and earthquake simulation, with European projects spearheading the way.

Quietly and discreetly, European researchers have created a system that allows managers to design and deploy business processes across a grid. They have thus validated a platform that delivers on the promise of easily accessed grid resources. People are listening again.

Difficult and time-consuming

Rightly so, as this is a big deal. Grids have, for the most part, remained the preserve of large, scientific institutions and companies. They are difficult to set up, even more difficult to manage on a day-to-day basis, and developing a new task or workflow can take many months.

No longer. The EU-funded A-WARE project has developed a platform that allows easy access to grid resources and has validated its approach by enabling grid deployment across large enterprises.

The work is barely finished and already the project partners have potential customers keen to get their hands on their work. Airbus actually joined the project to get access to just this kind of grid functionality. A major European petroleum company is in the final stages of becoming customer number two. Many big businesses are clamouring for the software.

Understandable enthusiasm

It is an understandable enthusiasm. Grids allow different computing platforms, like Windows PCs, Mac OS X laptops and Linux servers to share resources.

“It is very important for companies like Airbus, because they have so many different types of computer for each department. Maybe PCs for inventory and Solaris desktops for design, for example. Grids can link those together,” explains Claudio Cacciari, a researcher with the project. “This helps to correct the legacy issues that computer networks develop over time.”

“But we also designed the system so that it could understand business processes rendered in languages like Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). The A-WARE platform works with existing enterprise application standards.”

This means that business experts do not need to be grid experts to develop new processes on the system. It will have an enormously positive impact on companies by both extending the functionality and flexibility of their enterprise systems, and by enabling powerful, but easy to use, grid applications.

Many complex problems

Airbus tested this system out, too. The company’s engineers wanted to model the acoustic impact of the engine, placed in slightly different places, on the pilot. This is a complex problem, involving large calculations of fluid dynamics.

But that is the beauty of the A-WARE system. It offers the simplicity of a network with the high-octane horsepower of a grid, and the process-development software of an industrial-strength enterprise application.

The A-WARE system works on three layers: the grid-layer, a web-based portal layer that gives easy access to grid functionality and resources, and middleware to link the two.

It applied the platform to business processes because it is a compelling test case – a complex environment where easy-to-use systems are essential. It has also proved to be a canny commercial choice, too.

But A-WARE’s work will have a greater impact by setting the standard for easy-to-access grid computing. It opens the way for the regular use of grids in a many other sectors. It is grid computing for the rest of us.

The A-WARE project received funding from the Sixth Framework Programme for research.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/90092

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smarter robot vacuum cleaners for automated office cleaning
15.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Researchers 3-D print first truly microfluidic 'lab on a chipl devices
15.08.2017 | Brigham Young University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>