Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Grid becomes a reality

03.09.2004


This week, UK particle physicists have demonstrated the world’s largest, working computing Grid. With over 6,000 computers at 78 sites internationally, the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG) is the first permanent, worldwide Grid for doing real science. The UK is a major part of LCG, providing more than 1,000 computers in 12 sites. At the 2004 UK e-Science All Hands Meeting in Nottingham, particle physicists representing a collaboration of 20 UK institutions will explain to biologists, chemists and computer scientists how they reached this milestone.



Particle physics experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), currently under construction at CERN in Geneva will produce around 15 Petabytes of data each year - 15 million, billion bytes. To deal with this vast volume of data, particle physicists worldwide have been building a computing Grid. By 2007, this Grid will have the equivalent of 100,000 of today’s fastest computers working together to produce a ’virtual supercomputer’, which can be expanded and developed as needed. When the LHC experiments start in 2007, they are expected to reveal new physics processes that were crucial in building the Universe we see today, and shed light on mysteries such as the origin of mass.

Grid computing has been a target for IT developers and scientists for more than five years. It allows scientists to access computer power and data from around the world seamlessly, without needing to know where the computers are. Analysis for particle physics can also be done on conventional supercomputers, but these are expensive and in high demand. Grid computing, in contrast, is constructed from thousands of cheap units that can be increased to meet users’ needs. Like the web before it, the Grid has the potential to impact on everyone’s computing.


GridPP, the UK’s particle physics Grid project, was set up by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council in 2000. On 1 September this year the project reaches its halfway point, with the official end of its first phase and the start of GridPP2. According to Dr Dave Britton, the GridPP project manager, "The first half of the project aimed to create a prototype Grid - which we’ve done very successfully. Having proved that a Grid can work, we’re now focussed on developing a large-scale stable, easy-to-use Grid integrated with other international projects. This will let scientists tackle problems that are much larger than those possible today."

Dr Jeremy Coles of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is the GridPP production manager, responsible for making sure the Grid works on a day-to-day basis. He is giving the main GridPP talk in Nottingham, and stresses, "There are a lot of challenges in front of us as we expand our production Grid. In addition to the technical problems involved in providing a well-monitored, stable Grid, we need to address wider issues, in particular encouraging an open sharing of resources between groups of users."

In Nottingham, conference delegates will be able to see how the particle physics Grid works. GridPP has developed a map that shows computing jobs moving around LCG in real time, as they are distributed to the most suitable sites on the Grid, run their programmes and then return their results home. The map can be seen at http://www.hep.ph.ic.ac.uk/e-science/projects/demo/index.html Dr Dave Colling, from Imperial College, London, whose team built the map, said, "It can be difficult for people who have never seen a Grid working to imagine what it does. Our map is an easy way to see how a Grid can let scientists use resources all over the world, from their desktop. It’s also useful for experts, who can easily see how well the Grid’s working."

Professor Tony Doyle, leader of GridPP, explained, "This is a great achievement for particle physics and for e-Science. We now have a true international working Grid, running more than 5,000 computing jobs at a time. Our next aim is to scale up the computing power available by a factor of ten, so that we’ll have 10,000 computers in the UK alone, ready for the Large Hadron Collider in 2007"

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pparc.ac.uk
http://www.hep.ph.ic.ac.uk/e-science/projects/demo/index.html
http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/grid_reality.asp

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole
22.02.2018 | Royal Astronomical Society

nachricht UMass Amherst physicists contribute to dark matter detector success
22.02.2018 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>