Feeds

Brits to demo world's largest computing grid

Equivalent to 100,000 boy racer PCs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Particle physicists in the UK will demonstrate the world's largest working computer grid this week, at the e-Science All Hands meeting in Nottingham.

The Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG) is made up of over 6000 computers around the world, with the The UK's own particle physics Grid project, GridPP, contributing 1000 machines from 12 different sites. The scientists involved will update their colleagues at the Nottingham conference on how the grid was constructed, and what it will be used for.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is currently under construction at CERN in Geneva. When it is complete, the particle physics experiments it will run will generate vast quantities of data: around 15 petabytes every year. The LCG was conceived as a way of processing the data, mainly because time available on supercomputers is rare, and expensive.

By 2007, the LCG 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, according to the UK's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, PPARC.

GridPP reaches its halfway point this year. The goal of this first stage was to create a working prototype grid. Dr Dave Britton, the GridPP project manager says that this target has been met. "Having proved that a Grid can work, we're now focused on developing a large-scale stable, easy-to-use Grid integrated with other international projects," he said.

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, and is already focussed on the next phase of the project. He says that there are plenty of challenges still to come, as the grid is expanded, and not all of them are technical.

He argues that as well as dealing with the technical problems involved in providing a stable computing grid "we need to address wider issues, in particular encouraging an open sharing of resources between groups of users".

The engineers working on GridPP have developed a map that shows how computing jobs move around the LCG. The map shows jobs being distributed to the most suitable sites on the Grid, running their programmes and then returning their results home in real time.

e-Science delegates will get to see the map at the conference, but in the spirit of open sharing that Coles wants to encourage, you can check it out here. ®

Related stories

Global particle accelerator gets the big chill
CERN celebrates 50th birthday
Brits bet on gravity wave discovery
Strange but charming new particle found
Astronomers probe Cassiopeia's secrets

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.