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Grid and Business - User Perspectives & New Opportunities

The Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) 3rd User Forum, held this week at Clermont-Ferrand, France, has taken a close look at how Grid computing can bring major value to businesses, improve performance and even help to develop new products and services.

The EGEE User Forum was the perfect opportunity to showcase the benefits of Grid from a user perspective, and potential Grid adopters were able to see the technology in action through a number of demonstrations and presentations. From scientific research to Green IT, the many faces of Grids were on show, including finance, multimedia, life sciences and earth sciences. Experts gathered to offer both large and small organisations, in the public and private sectors, a chance to explore the advantages of using the Grid and see how the technical and non-technical obstacles can be overcome.

The variety of sessions featured presentations from business players and experts highlighting how industry is working with Grid by outlining current applications, focusing on the impact and benefits.

A demonstration by Imense Ltd showcased the development of a significant new technology for content based image retrieval (CBIR) enabled by Grid technology, such as EGEE’s gLite and Ganga, a powerful job submission tool co-developed with EGEE. Funding from the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and a partnership with Cambridge University is helping Imense explore the use of Grid to tackle specific challenges in the area of creative media.

Other demos include the advantages of using the EnginFrame Grid portal - which makes it easier to interact with files on the user interface, submit jobs to the Grid, monitor them, and manage data and job output inside the Virtual Organisation (VO). The EnginFrame Grid portal eliminates installation issues since it only needs a Java compliant web browser on the client machine.

Other real world examples presented include using the power of the Grid for stock analysis, where an application can analyse financial data on an unprecedented scale, potentially offering companies a market advantage, and using Grid for more accurate forecasting of the effect of tax policies on the economy.

Sarah Purcell | alfa
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