Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Missing link: software connects researchers across networks

06.02.2008
Researchers from Europe, America and China are creating software to better link research networks, paving the way for future scientific breakthroughs.

Major research network grids across the EU are often developed independently from each other, using different types of software and hardware, making it difficult for scientists working on a particular project to use resources outside their own.

The Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute for Europe (OMII-Europe) project is designed to break down such barriers by adopting common standards for grid middleware.

Project manager Alistair Dunlop, a computer scientist at the UK’s University of Southampton, says many major European research projects have already invested heavily in a specific grid middleware platform. The three major platforms used across Europe are gLite, Globus and Unicore.

OMII-Europe was launched in May 2006 as a means of helping researchers see beyond their particular network grid without having to make additional investments, he says.

Connecting the incompatible
Middleware is the software that mediates between application programs and the network. However, once a project commits to a particular middleware, researchers on that network are limited to the resources accessible via that middleware platform. OMII-Europe’s goal is to build interoperable software components that can work across multiple grid middleware platforms. To achieve this, the OMII-Europe project adopts open standards that are emerging from bodies such as the Open Grid Forum (OGF).

By creating software that works across different middleware platforms, the grids can now be linked and research can be shared more easily.

“Users can then use the same methods for submitting and monitoring jobs to cluster resources, or supercomputers, irrespective of the grid middleware being used,” Dunlop says. “Our vision is that these interoperable components will help break the barriers between grid infrastructures so that users have access to many more resources for their work.”

e-Science breakthrough
The breakthrough could have a significant impact on the way e-Science is carried out. He cites the example of a scientist who previously could only submit computing jobs to resources based on gLite, say. With the OMII-Europe components, the scientist would also be able to make the same submission to those using Globus and Unicore.

“This is a significant advancement and increases the range of computational power available to e-scientists,” Dunlop says.

The EU-funded consortium’s 16 partners from across Europe, the USA and China have currently identified a number of research projects that could benefit from such interoperability.

One such example is the Virtual Physiological Human project, which aims to link scientists, clinicians, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists in collaborative research into the human body. The intensive modelling techniques needed for such research require high-performance computing resources such as those available via the grid. The interoperability that OMII-Europe can provide will greatly increase the range of resources available to these scientists.

Linking malaria researchers
Other examples are the Wisdom initiative, which focuses on malaria research, and the EU-funded Share project, which aims to reduce the time and costs involved in developing new drugs, says Dunlop.

“OMII-Europe can help make drug discovery over the grid faster and easier,” he notes.

The project team has identified five components essential for grid work and are re-engineering them using emerging standards. The team puts these components through a rigorous quality assessment process before deploying them for public use.

Training has also been a major focus of OMII-Europe. Already, the group has held several training events across Europe and China on various grid technologies. Training material regarding the deployment and use of the OMII-Europe components is made available through courses and web-based tutorials.

The first phase of the project ends in April 2008, when OMII-Europe expects the developed software components to be made available to researchers via the project’s online repository.

Dunlop says the ultimate goal of the project is to integrate the interoperable components back into the middleware platforms. For instance, one of the components is expected to be bundled into the next release of Unicore.

“Other components will follow suit,” he says. “We're at an interesting stage now where we can demonstrate interoperability across the middleware platforms with real-use cases.”

(Reporting with the help of Alistair Dunlop, OMII-Europe project manager, Steve Brewer, deputy project manager, and Nishadi De Silva, technical author and dissemination manager).

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/id/89499

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>