UKQCD DiGS the Grid

Fri 3rd September 2010

The UKQCD Consortium is looking forward to getting more involved in the GridPP, thanks to an upgrade of DiGS (the grid-application stack used by the community) that will give them access to the GridPP infrastructure.

The upgrade means scientists working in UKQCD, a consortium that encompasses the key computational-particle-physics groups in the UK, can seamlessly access the GridPP infrastructure. In the coming weeks, the team will engage SRM-hosted capacity at the Glasgow and Edinburgh Tier 2 facilities bring the total capacity of the UKQCD Grid to over 120 TB and helping to ensure a healthy future for computational particle physics in
the UK.

A screenshot of the DiGS browser, accessing UKQCD data on the the grid.
Wahid Bhimji from Edinburgh University was one of the GridPP people who helped bring UKQCD into the fold. He is delighted with how the work went and hopes it is the first of many new areas that can be supported by GridPP “The work done by EPCC and GridPP developers in integrating DiGS with our SRM storage was extremely valuable both for the satisfying convergence of technologies, but also for building expertise that will allow for further bringing together and management of distributed storage resources shared by multiple scientific communities. ”


A technical diagram showing the make-up of a DiGS-powered data grid.

The grid is a perfect fit for the work done by UKQCD as one of its main roles is to coordinate and maintain a data infrastructure to host the many Terabytes of data produced by its scientists on cutting-edge HPC systems such as IBM BlueGene. This data infrastructure has been developed over the last 8 years by a team based at EPCC, in Edinburgh, with considerable support from the GridPP programme. Since 2008, due to unfortunate timing of the various grants involved, the UKQCD Grid ceased using GridPP resources. However two years on and with support from the OMII-UK Commissioned Software Programme they have been able to make use of the resources provided by GridPP.

Professor Richard Kenway, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, U. of Edinburgh is delighted with how the work has turned out “We [UKQCD] were one of the first projects to adopt commodity hardware, in a grid infrastructure, as our sole data management system. This has been a great success and there is no turning back.”

For more information on DiGS, see http://www2.epcc.ed.ac.uk/~digs/

For technical details on the integration contact:
James Perry from the DiGS team
Wahid Bhimji from GridPP


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