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Users Set The Standard

Today, the 2nd User Forum of the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project opened with keynote presentations from Ian Bird, the manager of the EGEE Grid infrastructure, and Mark Linesch, the head of the Open Grid Forum.

The User Forum is organised jointly with the OGF20 meeting to bring current Grid users and standards bodies together to ensure that they speak the same language and that the standards now emerging are taking into account the experiences of the most challenging application already successfully using the grid. This common event will also influence the future evolution of grid usage by scientific, technical and business communities.

“Now that we have moved from testing to routine usage of the Grid, it is important that the users get together with standards bodies,” said Bob Jones, Project Director of EGEE. “With this event we want to make sure that standards evolve taking into account the needs of the users, which is the only way to ensure sustainability of the Grid in the future.”

EGEE operates the biggest multi-science Grid currently used in production and already works with OGF on several levels, providing input from the project’s extensive knowledge of the deployment and management of large scale infrastructures.

“With more than 200 sites in 45 countries, our infrastructure is the biggest multi-science Grid worldwide” said Ian Bird, Manager for Grid operations for EGEE. “We observed peak usage of almost 100 000 jobs per day submitted by users from a wide range of domains and over the last year we processed about 20 million jobs on the Grid.”

The EGEE community is active in a wide range of working and community groups within OGF, providing the Area Directors for Applications, Data and Security, and several members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee in OGF. At the joint event in Manchester, the EGEE Industry Forum is co-hosting the OGF Enterprise Requirements Workshops to ensure dialogue between science and industry and to maintain close links between the two groups.

“Establishing an open, interactive dialogue with Grid users is essential to worldwide grid adoption,” said Mark Linesch, President, Open Grid Forum. “Broad adoption requires that we bring together the users, builders and architects in open forum to understand requirements and focus on key priorities. Through these user-centric interactions, the grid community produces better solutions and more relevant standards to enable scientific discovery and business value worldwide.”

The User Forum events put in place by EGEE are designed to bring together the fast-growing user community of EGEE and to foster close interaction among all the players in the Grid world, notably also technology and service vendors as well as business partners interested in using the grid. Several presentations by companies about their experience in using Grids and business models form an integral part of the event programme in Manchester. The User Forum thus provides one of the main ways of interaction between established and emerging grid communities both in the scientific and the business sector.

“The User Forum features 20 live demonstrations in several diverse domains and a poster session to highlight key applications and technologies for the EGEE user communities,” explains Massimo Lamanna, organiser of the EGEE User Forum. “The interactive character of this event, where scientists and technology experts are exchanging experiences and views, is really at the heart of the User Forum. This approach has been very successful in the past, and again we have an exciting programme, which reflects the state-of-the-art of scientific and technical activities. We are not just suggesting that the Grid could be useful, but rather showing that it has already become an essential tool for several communities in fields ranging from Life and Earth Science to High-Energy Physics.”

To share the excitement of the Grid, eight attendees of the User Forum will share their ideas, experiences and feelings in a “Gridcast” starting today in a combination of blogs and podcasts. With this unique combination, which was employed for the first time at the SuperComputing’06 conference in November 2006, everyone going to the website will get a feeling of what it is like to be there. The Gridcast is available from .

The National e-Science Centre, the University of Manchester and the National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) are jointly hosting OGF20 and the 2nd EGEE User Forum, 7 11 May 2007. Further information can be found on .

Hannelore Hammerle | alfa
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