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 Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>