Sunday, July 16, 2006

Back to Grid Blogging - OGF, Airbus deal

Cross-posted from The Grid Blog

Recently, I have been busy at work so stopped blogging for a while. During the period of inactivity, there had been numerous news items and grid related activities that I have been starring in my reader and mails.
  • EGA - GGF Merger: EGA and GGF, the two mainstream standard groups which have been discussing about a merger for soem time now, have finally merged to form a new entity Open Grid Forum (OGF). OGF Website is still under construction and the Board of Directors and leadership teams are yet to be finalized.
    The Sci-Tech Today has the following comments:
    Mark Linesch, who will lead the group, said the OGF would "open new doors to scientific discovery, business value and commercial adoption worldwide."
    Experts welcomed the end of the groups' prolonged sparring over definitions and semantics.
    Instead of quoting more, I am providing a link of related resource for the interested readers:

  • Airbus into Grid Computing: Grid Today in a news story reports that Fujitsu Systems has received order from Airbus for SynfiniWay HPC Grid middleware
    SynfiniWay proved to have the most complete and integrated Grid computing solution for aerodynamics analyses at Airbus, combining service-oriented applications with open workflow capabilities for efficient support of complex dynamic processes.

    Fujitsu Systems Europe has also been contracted to develop the services around the aerodynamic applications, and to integrate SynfiniWay within the existing user desktop tools for transparent grid access.
  • A good Computational Grid Intro: I came across this well written state of affairs of Computational Grid by Tim Bray in his ongoing weblog.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Grid Computing Books: Grid Computing - The Savvy Manager’s Guide

Cross-posted from The Grid Blog

Title: Grid Computing - The Savvy Manager's Guide
Authors: Pawel Plaszczak & Rich Wellner, Jr.
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
ISBN: 0127425039
Sample Chapter: N/A
Online Companion:
Review: Taken from the online edition of Primeur
The book starts with some artificial, business cases, explaining how Grid technologies could be useful in business. Then it continues with Grid basics, including notes on the history: Grid computing is not a completely new invention, but builds on a number of developments in the nineties, such as metacomputing and distribtued computing.
The book is meant as a starting point. The reader is presented an overview of some resources for futher investigation, and there is a supporting web site which is kept up to date and with some links per chapter to other sources. However, when reading a book, I prefer the references to be contained in the book: you do not always have Internet at hand and it also disrupts the reading process if you first have to go to a computer to read the reference.
Another review from
A decade ago, the corporate world viewed grid computing as a curiosity. Today, it views it as an opportunity--a chance to reduce costs, improve performance, fund new projects, and take advantage of under-utilized capacity. The engineering behind this transformation has been amply documented. Until now, however, little has been written to prepare managers, executives, and other decision-makers to implement grid computing in a sensible and effective way.

Grid Computing: The Savvy Manager's Guide examines the technology from a rigorous business perspective, equipping you with the practical knowledge you need to assess your options and determine what grid computing approach is right for your enterprise. This book is heavy on real-world experience, distilling from a rich assortment of case studies the best practices currently at work in a variety of industries. Always attentive to grid computings many competitive advantages, it is also realistic about the challenges of selling the idea to staff and making it a part of your companys culture.
Buy from Amazon:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Grid Computing Book: IBM Redbooks - "Patterns: Emerging Patterns for Enterprise Grids"

Cross-posted from The Grid Blog

Title: Patterns: Emerging Patterns for Enterprise Grids
Authors: John Easton, David Kra, Michael Osias, Donald Pazel, Rob Vrablik, David Chisholm, Matthew Haynos, Luiz R. Rocha, Avi Saha, Ellen Stokes, Roberto Jimenez, Richard Appleby, Shweta Gupta, Joachim Dirker, Luis Ferreira, and Jean-Pierre Prost
Publisher: IBM Redbooks
Book Description:
Download Link:
The target audience for this redbook are IT architects, consultants, software engineers with a need to use grid computing as a building block to the solution of architectural problems.

In their everyday work, those professionals need to evaluate a business problem and build a solution to solve it. They normally begin by gathering requirements related to the problem, designing a first outline of the solution and taking into consideration any special requirements that must be part of the final solution. After this step, they start the design of the actual solution, which can be comprised of one or more applications, each one requiring its own infrastructure in order to run.
Every time they can reuse the same set of solutions, devised from the experience they have acquired, the next engagement is simplified, reducing time and costs and increasing the levels of client satisfaction. Capturing, categorizing and providing access to the knowledge gained from each engagement into a repository of information can be beneficial to the overall professional community.

Patterns are great vehicles to capture components with a high degree of commonality among engagements and to express their interrelationships. Although most enterprise grid engagements are typically deployed with solutions that could be categorized as "one-of-a-kind", there is enough information gathered today to allow us to devise a set of common components among them and to derive enterprise grid patterns. The proposed patterns are based on grid solutions designed for enterprise clients over the past couple of years and are therefore representative of the current use of grid technologies in the enterprise today. They may not address all emerging grid technologies or be representative of research grids.

You can use this book as a helping guide for your grid solution design and we also expect that your experience and your feedback may be applied in the improvement of this work.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Grid Computing Competition from Grid Computing Now!

Cross-posted from The Grid Blog

DTI Knowledge Transfer Network Grid Computing Now! and the British Computer Society have announced a competition for innovative solutions to challenges of the 21st century using the capabilities of grid computing technologies.

See the competition site for details.

The Competition in Outline
The competition is to develop a short description of an application of Grid Computing Technologies to solve a unique problem facing society in the 21st Century. Each submission should provide a short overview of the problem to be solved, an analysis and a description of the potential solution. We believe that the emergence of grid computing provides a new level of capability in high performance distributed computing and thus we would expect the problem addressed to be beyond today’s available solutions, such as cluster computing or other more constrained computing configurations. The competition will be judged by an appointed panel of experts from industry and the fields of science, the environment, engineering, design and arts. Prizes will be awarded for submissions that show the most originality, creativity, clear benefits and a feasible implementation. We expect to be able to offer individuals prizes ranging from computer equipment and software packages as well as an Internship or work placement at Intellect. We will also award membership to the BCS for prize winners. Entrants should be aware that there is a possibility that the competition will attract coverage in the media. The event will be launched early in the spring of 2006 with the aim of accumulating submissions during the summer with a preliminary short list available to be judged in the early autumn. A Competition Final event will be held for the short-listed entrants at which the prizes will be awarded.

Grid Computing Technologies
We are taking a broad view of Grid Computing to encourage a wide range of possible solutions. The key properties of Grid Computing in our view are the virtualising of resources to enable the provision of a more substantial and flexible computing capability to address a problem. There are two basic approaches to Grid Computing relevant in this context. Either a large scale distributed heterogeneous computer system which appears to the user as one large computer or a distributed application which enables the user to obtain a wide deployment of a very large task, broken down into small tasks, which are themselves, distributed across a volunteer computer network. This latter approach is becoming popular in use today, and would not be a particularly innovative approach to solving a problem. To assist entrants without the benefit of an extensive computing background we would recommend the definitions and descriptions offered by the CERN Grid Café. See for a primer and explanation.

There will be three stages to the competition; all submissions will be via the Grid Computing Now! Website , entrants intellectual property rights will be preserved:

* Firstly, an initial competition entry form will be used for submissions of up to 500 words describing the problem and their approach to a solution. The submissions will be reviewed by the organising committee and a selection made to be invited to submit a more complete entry.
* Secondly, those submitting successful proposals from stage 1 (between 30 and 50) will be invited to submit a short written paper, 1000 words, developing their idea further, supported by a short presentation. These submissions will be judged by the appointed panel.
* Thirdly, those proposals judged to be of most interest (a maximum of 10) will be invited to present their proposal in a Competition Final event scheduled for late September. Each competitor will be allocated 20 minutes comprising 10 minutes presentation and 10 minutes questions and answers. Prizes will be awarded on the basis of originality; creativity clear benefits and feasibility.

There will be three prizes awarded:

* 1st Prize: An X-Box 360 with the offer of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard 10 CALs and Microsoft Compute Cluster Server for the prize winner’s employer/university. The winner will also be eligible to attend the Microsoft European Technology Conference held in Brussels and be offered a year’s free membership of the British Computer Society. The winner will also be eligible for an Internship placement with Intellect, the Hi-tech trade association in Summer 2007.
* 2nd Prize: A laptop computer; Opportunity to utilise the eScience National Grid Service for a number of hours to implement a prototype solution. This will be supported by technical advice from the National eScience Centre and National Grid Service teams. A free membership of the British Computer Society for one year.
* 3rd Prize: Office software Microsoft Visual Studio.NET Professional and Microsoft Office Professional and a free membership of the British Computer Society for one year.

All prize winners will have their entries featured in communication materials, on the Grid Computing Now! website and if the opportunity arises, in the press.

Competition Launch Plans and Timeline:

* The Competition will be launched in the 2nd week of May. This will be via the GCN!, Intellect, BCS and NeSC websites and a press release.
* Initial Entries will be accepted until the end of June.
* These entries will be assessed in the first two weeks of July and an initial short-list created of between 30 and 50 entries.
* These entrants will be encouraged to submit by early September and a selection of up to 10 entrants will be invited to appear at the Competition Final event in central London in front of the judges on September 28th at the BCS offices in Southampton Street.

Competition Website