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GridPP's Top 11 of 2008
December 19th, 2008

Google released it’s reading of the online zeitgeist for 2008 this month and the Large Hadron Collider beat out president-elect Barrack Obama (well in the UK at least). Well what about GridPP? What were the top 11 highlights/events for the collaboration? And why 11? We like to go one step beyond. Read more…

PIPPS bear fruit
December 17th, 2008

GridPP has always been happy to support more than just the work being done for the LHC and is particularly interested in knowledge transfer, working with small and medium enterprises to help prototype their work on the Grid. One of the most recent examples of one of these partnerships was with Econophyisca and their final review has just been submitted. Read more…

ATLAS holds 1,000,000 Gigabytes
December 12th, 2008

The UK’s contribution to computing for the LHC reached an important milestone last month when disk storage dedicated to the ATLAS experiment at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) broke the petabyte barrier. Read more…

Steve Lloyd's Eponymous Tests Updated and Improved
December 4th, 2008

For the last two years "Steve’s Tests" have helped the Grid community in the UK by providing diagnostic information which can help the systems administrators debug their site. Having just been moved to a dedicated server at Queen Mary, University of London the suite of tests now run, without intervention, monitoring the UK Grid 365x24x7. Just before the move was finished Steve also added a new network test to measure a user’s view of the bandwidth between various sites and within a site. Read more…

The RB is dead long live the WMS
November 7th, 2008

Four years in the development but the UK Grid is well on the way to the move from Resource Brokers (RBs) to Workload Management Servers (WMSs). Last week the RB at Imperial College London was turned off and replaced with a WMS. This was the second of the RBs supported by GridPP to be decommissioned and the final two at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are planned to be taken out of service at the end of the month. Read more…

United Kingdom of GridPP and NGS
October 30th, 2008

In Oxford last week the UK’s leading Grid projects GridPP and the National Grid Service (NGS) met to discuss how to make the idea of a national Grid a reality. The meeting was designed to bring the two communities together to introduce the underlying technologies of each as well as the opportunities that are presented by a country-wide infrastructure. Read more…

Gridfest: Launching the Grid
October 7th, 2008

Three weeks after the Large Hadron Collider’s successful launch it was time for the LHC’s computing Grid to be officially launched and unlike other popular festivals there was no chance of rain or mud at GridFest. Read more…

A Turkish Delight
October 2nd, 2008

Last week EGEE brought its fifth annual conference to the city where Europe and Asia meet, Istanbul. In a city which has known many names and is influenced by many cultures it was the perfect atmosphere for the collaboration to take stock of the previous 12 months and plan the next 12. Read more…

There were dragons …
September 15th, 2008

It is mid September which can mean only one thing the collaboration is in overdrive with meetings, festivals and conferences. In the last fortnight GridPP has been all over the UK; Swansea, Liverpool, Edinburgh and London with no less than 6 different events and a major EGEE conference less than a week away in Istanbul. Read more…

LHC switched on, world still here
September 10th, 2008

Today was the culmination of decades of work when the LHC was finally switched as the entire world watched. Read more…

LHC@home reloaded and here to help
August 19th, 2008

Almost a year ago the LHC@home service officially moved to the UK. In that time the service has been quietly helping to configure the LHC’s super magnets and even with LHC turn on imminent it isn’t quite finished yet. With over 40,000 work hungry users the LHC@home team would like to get more applications running on the servers. Read more…

CERN names red button day for the LHC
August 13th, 2008

CERN has announced that the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be made on 10 September. This news came as the cool down phase of commissioning CERN’s new particle accelerator reached a successful conclusion. GridPP will provide the UK computing needed for the petabytes of data that the LHC’s detectors will produce. Read more…

Battle Royale
July 14th, 2008

The first week of July saw the LHC and Grid being presented at the Royal Society science summer exhibition by the UK’s Science Technology Facilities Council (STFC). This annual event selects the best research being done by UK scientists both at home and abroad and gives the public a chance to meet and talk to the researchers themselves who are behind the work on show. Read more…

If a server falls over on a Sunday is anyone around to hear it?
July 2nd, 2008

When computer components fail they don’t care if it’s day, night or the weekend but the people running them do. Imagine a quiet Saturday at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in leafy Oxfordshire, the home to one of GridPP’s largest single computing resource. The bank holiday weekend has just started no one is expected back on-site till Tuesday morning and the Tier1 has just ground to a halt, seemingly silently, or has it? The staff at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are preparing for the worst. With LHC turn on looming computing staff at RAL are on-call and have been equipped with technology to ensure no server crashes without someone to hear the crunch. Read more…

GridPP and e-Science at the Royal Academy of Engineering
June 27th, 2008

The Royal Academy of Engineering today held its annual Soiree and Exhibition at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. During the day the exhibition was open to STFC staff and visitors, while in the evening it was attended by the Royal Academy of Engineering fellows and their guests, including HRH The Duke of Kent. Read more…

GridCast hooks GridPP blogger at OGF23
June 4th, 2008

Jens Jensen from GridPP is one of ten bloggers providing a sneak-peek behind the scenes of the 23rd Open Grid Forum, held this week in Barcelona, Spain. They are part of a grid podcast, or GridCast, that
allows readers to virtually share in the forum, as if they were really there on-site. Read more…

Industrious Grid & Sun gets a buzz from the Real Time Monitor
May 29th, 2008

The heart of Westminster, just around the corner from Big Ben, was the plush setting for the most recent Grids and Industry day last Wednesday. Featuring talks from across academia and the business community the meeting, organised by The Kite Club and STFC, attracted over a hundred attendees from many areas of research and industry. Also the week before GridPP had gotten a big boost from one of the biggest players in the computer industry when the Real Time Monitor was highlighted at a recent Sun conference. Read more…

Cell Biology gets new DiGS on the Grid
May 12th, 2008

It’s early 2008 and most of the GridPP community is awaiting the switch on of the LHC. However working quietly in the background are, not only, other physicists but other disciplines. Part of the collaboration is working with Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) and cell biologists to develop a Grid to help the cell biology community share images and data.. Read more…

GridTalk spills the beans on grid computing
May 9th, 2008

A new EU project dedicated to telling the world about grid computing launched last week, with GridPP’s dissemination team playing a key role. GridTalk (http://www.gridtalk-project.eu) will create a unified approach to European grid communications, working with national and international projects including GridPP and EGEE. Read more…

New Phase, New Face
April 24th, 2008

GridPP has finally entered its third phase and has been funded until at least March 2011. To mark this changeover, the project’s website has had a visual overhaul which is hoped will keep the site easy to navigate but also cut down on clutter. Read more…

Challenging the security services
April 22nd, 2008

Mention Grids to anyone in the community, or beyond, and their main concern is over the security of the system and the information on it. GridPP has been working on this issue since the beginning and is well aware of the problems. With this in mind for twelve weeks between January and March this year the UK and Ireland’s security and storage system was tested. There were some great results, Oxford only took eight minutes to flag a ticket on the system and RAL returning full results within two hours proving that GridPP is almost ready for the LHC. Read more…

But how fast can I download my rumours?
April 15th, 2008

Recently the Sunday Times printed an article titled "Coming soon: superfast internet" written by Jonathan Leake, the paper’s Science Editor. The piece talks bout Grid computing, but introduces a few inaccuracies – in particular by confusing the Grid with the fibre optic network underlying it. The news story spread, with misleading "Grid replaces Internet" stories appearing in The Scotsman, The Telegraph and The Mirror to name just three. Read more…

CCRC'08 – how did it go?
April 13th, 2008

Earlier this year, the LHC experiments took part in the first Common Computing Readiness Challenge (CCRC ’08), intended to test the whole computing infrastructure in preparation for LHC turn-on. Here, we talk to representatives from each of the three main experiments in the UK, to find out what went well, what went wrong, and what happens next. Our panel members are Raja Nandakumar from RAL, who works on LHCb; Stuart Wakefield from Imperial College who is part of the CMS experiment; and Graeme Stewart from Glasgow University, who works for ATLAS. Read more…

*Insert stereotypical Oirish phrase here*
March 19th, 2008

After the wilds of northern England and the beauty of the Lake District it was time for GridPP to reconvene once again and this time actually mark the end of the second phase of the project. With the end of GridPP2 mere weeks away, where better to examine the project’s success and future than on foreign shores. It had been almost 4 years since a collaboration meeting had taken place away from British soil and with the close relationship with Grid Ireland, Trinity College Dublin kindly agreed to play host. Read more…

EGEE: Altogether now
February 19th, 2008

2008 is barely two months old but already Enabling Grids for EsciencE (EGEE) has been busy. The All Activities meeting in January was a chance for an overview of the project’s status as well as its future, while the User Forum in February brought together users and providers to discuss the issues encountered in the last year by the numerous applications and those working on the infrastructure. Read more…

Helping find a needle in the ATLAS haystack
January 30th, 2008

GridPP researchers from Glasgow have announced the first release of a new tool to help physicists search the vast amounts of data expected from the ATLAS experiment. ELSSI, the Event-Level Selection Service Interface, is a user-friendly and intuitive way of building and running queries through the database of ATLAS events. Read more…