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'Twas the night before a GridPP Christmas
December 21st, 2007

For all those wondering how the Chair of the Tier-2 Board will deliver the kit for GridPP3 Read more…

Bridge over muddled waters of Grid storage
December 17th, 2007

Two islands of Grid storage technology have now been joined, with a successful demonstration bridging the key technologies of the Storage Resource Broker (SRB) and Storage Resource Manager (SRM). The demonstration was run at Supercomputing 2007 in Reno, Nevada, on behalf of a GridPP-led team from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Read more…

Kids for grids
December 4th, 2007

Last week the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory introduced future computer scientists to the future of computer science. The event, Grids 4 Kids, brought in children from one of the local primary schools to learn about the Grid, visit the computing centre, take part in activities to teach them about computers and learn about the necessity of internet security. Read more…

Storage system specialists meet in Scotland
November 24th, 2007

Last week, the National eScience Centre (NeSC) in Edinburgh played host to over 60 grid storage experts who were in Scotland to learn about deployment of storage services. GridPP, in collaboration with NeSC and the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid, held the workshop to coordinate deployment of the next generation of the Storage Resource Manager (SRM) interface, which will enable users and scientific experiments to make use of advanced functionality in storage systems. Read more…

System managers monitor the Grid at IC
November 9th, 2007

31 system administrators from UK sites gathered at Imperial College last week to learn about and discuss monitoring systems, in the latest of the UK HEPSYSMAN series of meetings. Read more…

New and easy ways to view the Grid
October 24th, 2007

Keen eyed watchers of the GridPP website will have noticed links to two new resources on the front page. The first of these is GridMap (http://gridmap.cern.ch), developed in partnership between CERN Openlab and EDS. GridMap shows information on the sites in each EGEE region, indicating both the size of resources at a site and its status. The second link is to a new GridPP status page (http://hepwww.ph.qmul.ac.uk/~lloyd/gridpp/ukgrid.html), developed by Steve Lloyd at QMUL, that shows in detail on one page what’s up and what’s down at each site. As well as a summary table of GStat information for each of GridPP’s sites, it gives Site Availability Monitoring (SAM) test results and data specific to experiments. Read more…

GridPP meets the marvellous Magyars
October 23rd, 2007

Earlier this month the annual EGEE conference was held in Budapest, Hungary. It was a chance for the entire EGEE collaboration to meet, discuss and learn about the changes in all areas of their Grid in the last twelve months. It was also the best opportunity for new or potential partners to get a more in depth understanding of EGEE, its tools and how it works. With GridPP currently accounting for more than 20% of EGEE’s CPU resources it was inevitable we would have a presence. Read more…

From Aliens to Accelerators – @home project comes to GridPP
October 12th, 2007

GridPP members at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) are gearing themselves up for an influx of help, as they take over a successful volunteer computing project. Forty thousand people have already run the LHC@home program on their home or office computers, to help prepare for the Large Hadron Collider. This week, researchers at QMUL officially launched the new base for LHC@home, which has moved from CERN. Read more…

EGEE bids to become EGEE-III
October 9th, 2007

Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) has been looking to the future, with the submission to the European Commission of their proposal for the third phase of the project, planned to start in April 2008. EGEE-II built Europe’s largest production Grid, running around 100,000 computing jobs every day for scientists worldwide. With 94 partners in twelve regional federations, EGEE-III aims to expand this infrastructure and prepare for a long-term European Grid. The UK will continue to play a major role in the project, as one of the largest contributors to EGEE. Read more…

Imperial College becomes first GridPP site to join the NGS
October 1st, 2007

Imperial College’s GridPP site blazed a trail in August, when it became the first GridPP site to join the UK National Grid Service as an affiliate member. Read more…

All hands at the BA
September 28th, 2007

As summer drew to a close the members of GridPP returned and recovered from GridPP19 and CHEP, but for some it was time for even more travelling. The collaboration took stands to two of the UK’s finest cities at the same time, York and Nottingham. Read more…

Whale watching at CHEP, eh?
September 26th, 2007

More than 20 GridPP members were joined by nearly 500 other high energy physicists, tens of totem poles and several orcas earlier this month at CHEP in Victoria, Canada. The conference brought together those working on computing for the LHC and other ongoing particle physics experiments, and included a look at plans for the International Linear Collider.
Read more…

(R)ambleside
September 10th, 2007

Tony Doyle’s talk title said it all: “That Was The Grid That Was”. Initially planned as the final GridPP collaboration meeting, the project’s extension for three more years made it more of a mid-term review. But the most recent GridPP collaboration meeting was still a very relaxed affair with a look back at what had been done and a look at what still needed doing in GridPP2+ and GridPP3. Just after the UK’s August bank holiday, the Lake District was the obvious choice for the big farewell that wasn’t. Read more…

GridPP helps find one picture in a million
August 7th, 2007

Looking for images on the internet can be a frustrating business. Whether you want the perfect sunset over the sea or the London skyline by night, you’re dependent on people to describe the images on their web pages. Now Imense Ltd, a high-tech Cambridge start-up, has announced new investment to help them become the ‘Google’ of image searching, using their revolutionary technology. To test their software, they’ve made an unexpected partnership with GridPP. Read more…

Is everybody ready?
July 24th, 2007

With the Large Hadron Collider starting next year, grid sites worldwide are ramping up their equipment and service levels in preparation for the expected flood of data. But will they be ready – and how can any problems they’re having be fixed? GridPP’s management board have recently completed a round of visits to all 17 GridPP sites to determine how prepared they are for LHC start-up. Read more…

The Grid comes to Parliament
July 13th, 2007

If he can find time in his schedule, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown can learn about grids with last week’s launch of a parliamentary briefing paper. The four page introduction to grids and e-science has been produced for policy makers by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). Read more…

Blogging all over GridPP
July 2nd, 2007

Over the last year, GridPP has been slowly but surely moving into the blog world. The latest step has come with the amalgamation of all GridPP’s blogs onto one page, at http://planet.gridpp.ac.uk/ Links to the last three blog entries are also now available from the GridPP home page. Read more…

GridPP usability on the up
June 18th, 2007

Being a GridPP user isn’t always straightforward. You might have thousands of CPU and terabytes of disk at your fingertips, but can you get your job to work on all of them – or any of them? Although there are many more grid users than there used to be, getting started on a grid, and getting it to do what you want, are still not for the faint hearted. Read more…

Top tips for your cluster: HEP system managers share expertise at RAL
June 4th, 2007

Fabric management was at the top of the agenda at RAL recently, when system managers from across the UK’s particle physics groups got together. Up to 30 attendees at the HEP system manager meeting heard reports from sites, talks on topical issues and feedback from computing conferences. Read more…

United in Manchester
May 15th, 2007

The Grid spans the globe, with people from various areas of expertise working together virtually. But nothing beats face to face interaction: last week two of the world’s largest Grid communities met in Manchester to foster links and promote collaboration.
Read more…

Sir Alan Sugar opens the Queen Mary e-Science Cluster.
May 5th, 2007

Queen Mary’s e-Science cluster has become one of the biggest computer clusters used by GridPP. After a recent upgrade, and as LHC turn-on approaches, the cluster needed an official opening. Who better to unveil the plaque than Sir Alan Sugar, media celebrity and Chairman of Viglen Ltd, which provided 90% of the machines in the cluster. Read more…

A schooling in Grids
April 30th, 2007

As GridPP gears up to deal with the turn on of the LHC, some of the collaboration have taken time out of their busy schedules to bring the Grid and the LHC into schools. Read more…

Grids: A Beginners Guide To…
April 24th, 2007

LT2, GridPP’s Tier-2 based in the London area, recently organised a very successful workshop to encourage people outside GridPP and particle physics to use the Grid for their work. Read more…

Taking the Grid to Guildford
April 12th, 2007

This year’s IoP High Energy Physics conference took place last week at the University of Surrey in Guildford. This time it was a divisional conference shared with Nuclear Physics, Gravitational Physics and the newly-formed Astroparticle Physics Group. As usual, GridPP took a stand with a demonstration and posters; there was also a Grid plenary talk given by Dave Britton, and many GridPP members attended the meeting. Read more…

The Big Bang in South Kensington
April 5th, 2007

The Science Museum in London has unveiled its newest exhibition and it’s all about the LHC and the fascinating science behind the project. It also includes a large section on the Grid. Read more…

PPARC annnounces ₤30m for GridPP extension
March 28th, 2007

Science computing in the UK has been boosted with the announcement by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) of ₤30m further funding for GridPP, the UK’s largest scientific Grid. The GridPP project is building a computing Grid to analyse data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The funding announced this week will allow GridPP to continue into its third phase, running until 2011, covering the period when the LHC starts taking data. Read more…

GridPP hits the West End (of Glasgow)
March 23rd, 2007

Last week the collaboration braved the cold (again) and, for the second collaboration meeting in a row, visited Scotland. Glasgow University’s Physics Department was the venue for 2007′s first collaboration meeting and GridPP’s 18th. Read more…

GridPP Management on Tour
March 15th, 2007

The GridPP Project Management Board (PMB) has started a series of Site Readiness Reviews, which will visit all the GridPP sites in the UK by May 2007. The purpose of these visits is to encourage a two-way dialogue at several levels (Management, Operations, Technical and Experiment) between GridPP and the institutes to ensure that both sides are aware of issues, obligations, plans, costs and service levels. Read more…

Breakfast and the Grid in Westminster
March 12th, 2007

GridPP was presented to MPs and Lords in Parliament recently, as part of a PPARC breakfast presentation on the LHC. The breakfast briefing was given to members of the Paraliamentary and Scientific Committee, an ‘All Party Group’ of Parliamentarians interested in science. Read more…

Spreading the word Down Under
March 7th, 2007

Graeme Stewart of ScotGrid recently returned from a two week GridPP-sponsored visit to Australia, where he presented five talks on EGEE, grid data management and the computing challenges of the LHC. Read more…

GridPP gathers in Geneva for WLCG workshop
February 23rd, 2007

More then 40 GridPP members descended on CERN last month for the latest WLCG collaboration workshop. While not the first workshop dedicated to WLCG operations, it was the largest with over 270 registered participants. GridPP’s representation included people from Tier-2s, the Tier-1, GridPP management, applications and related projects such as Pegasus. Read more…

The Grid ate my cluster: Tier-1 gets more CPU
February 6th, 2007

The Tier-1 service at RAL recently had its CPU capacity upgraded by 50% with the addition of 64 Intel dual core “Woodcrest” servers. Within 30 minutes, all the new CPU were busy with jobs from the Grid. The new hardware was put into service in batches of 16 starting at about 17:30 on the 10th January. All four batches were in production by 18:00, and the service had filled with additional work opportunistically flowing onto it from the Grid. Read more…

WISDOM fights malaria – with help from GridPP
February 2nd, 2007

The UK particle physics Grid has again played a leading role in EGEE’s latest biomedical data challenge, searching for potential drugs against malaria. Malaria kills more than one million people each year, most of them young children living in Africa. The WISDOM project analysed an average of 80,000 possible drug compounds against malaria every hour. In total, the challenge processed over 140 million compounds, with GridPP providing nearly half of the computing hours used. Read more…

LHCb Software Course outshines Hogmanay celebrations
January 25th, 2007

Thirty one UK and Ireland members of the LHCb collaboration braved uncertain weather to attend the third LHCb-UK Software Course, held at the National e-Science Centre (NeSC), Edinburgh, on 7th-10th January. Like previous years’ events, the course introduced participants to the software and computing environment of LHCb, and was supported by GridPP. The course particularly focused on the software for physics analysis and on the tools for running an analysis on the Grid, but applications for event simulation and reconstruction were also covered. In contrast with Edinburgh’s cancelled Hogmanay celebrations, the LHCb-UK Software Course was again an outstanding success. Read more…

Grid security crosses more borders
January 25th, 2007

With more than 30 national Grids in Europe alone, making sure electronic identities work across Grid boundaries is a complex job. This is the role of the European Policy Management Authority for Grid Authentication, EUGridPMA, which met last week in the UK for the first time. Attended by 26 members of EUGridPMA, the meeting at the CCLRC Coseners House in Abingdon was organised and sponsored by CCLRC and GridPP. Read more…

Resolving the New Year
January 10th, 2007

To start 2007, we asked members of GridPP’s Project Management Board about their New Year’s resolutions. These are the answers we got. It appears that not all of them should be taken seriously…. Read more…