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Showing posts from April, 2007

BBC Horizon programme on FireGrid

Next Tuesday, April 24th, the BBC will be showing an episode of Horizon all about the FireGrid project. The vision behind FireGrid is that we can use the grid and HPC computing to model the spread of fire in buildings, to improve building design, firefighters' training and actual response in emergencies.

This is one of a number of grid projects looking at the use of real-time modelling to improve emergency response. Others are focussing on floods, earthquakes or the release of noxious substances into the atmosphere. In each case, the idea is to use lots of sensors to provide input to complex HPC models, which in turn provide forecasts to an emergency response control room.

There are many technical issues that need to be solved before such systems can be deployed live. We don't yet know the best way to guide simulations as new sensor input becomes available. We need better ways of allocating priority jobs to grid resources - it's clear that a traditional queue system w…

Webinar: Virtualisation and Service-Oriented Architecture - Building a cutting edge IT Infrastructure

On Thursday (April 19th) I will be hosting another in our series of webinars. This week's seminar will feature case studies of two core technologies for building a cutting-edge infrastructure. Zafar Chaudry will describe how he used virtualisation to consolidate his disparate servers and storage provision into a manageable and scalable infrastructure. Then Mark Simpson will show how he deployed a service-oriented architecture to give a major financial institution far more control and scalability over its business processes.

Zafar and Mark come from very different sectors. Zafar is at the Liverpool Women's Hospital while Mark works for the business IT consultants Griffiths-Waite. I find it fascinating to see just how broad is the uptake of these new techniques - they really seem to be applicable across most sectors. This will be one issue that I'll explore in the discussion on Thursday. I'll also ask Mark and Zafar to comment on how virtualisation and SOA interact in mor…

OGF20 & Grids Mean Business

Much of the reason that I haven't blogged much recently is that I've been up to my eyes in organising OGF20 (colocated with the EGEE User Forum) and in particular the Grids Mean Business industry track. With just over a month to go, I'm pleased to report that we have well over 500 delegates registered and the programme of speakers is rather good. In addition, we have a range of workshops which will look at new developments in Grid middleware and operations.

Our two keynote speakers for OGF20 will be Tony Hey and Peter Coveney. Tony is VP of technical computing at Microsoft and will be giving us a new talk on the Social Grid. Peter is professor of computational chemistry at University College London and has stretched the use of Grid infrastructures to perform massive simulations of chemical processes. Both are excellent speakers and will give fascinating talks. In addition, Mark Linesch and Bob Jones will introduce the activities of OGF and EGEE respectively, while Mar…