A Brief History Of GridPP

This a timeline of events and milestones in GridPP's history. There are photos and facts which detail GridPP's growth and progression. If you can add anything to an event/milestone, correct something or suggest an item to add, please email GridPP @ info@gridpp.ac.uk

GridPP has attended many conferences since it started for a full list of these meetings and their details please see the meetings page.

1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010| 2011| 2012



February 2000

  • A Joint Infrastructure Fund bid is submitted for £6.2m to fund a prototype Tier-1 centre at RAL, for the EU-funded DataGrid project. At the same time PPARC asked the 2000 Spending Review for money to fund the UK Grid. The JIF bid is eventually withdrawn, due to overlap with the SR2000 bid.
  • The institutions involved in the JIF bid were:
    1. University of Birmingham
    2. University of Bristol
    3. Brunel University
    4. University of Cambridge
    5. University of Edinburgh
    6. University of Glasgow
    7. Imperial College London
    8. Lancaster University
    9. University of Liverpool
    10. University of Manchester
    11. Oxford University
    12. Queen Mary, University of London
    13. Royal Holloway, University of London
    14. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
    15. University of Sheffield
    16. University College London
    These institutions would become the core of GridPP.
  • At the time of the JIF bid the LHC was expected to produce 4PB of data a year for 10 years. By 2005, the expected figures had risen to 15PB a year for 15 years.
  • RAL was chosen as the location of the Tier-1 centre because it already hosted the UK BaBar computing centre and had a long history of delivering large scale computing and data storage to UK particle physics.

Between February and October 2000

  • The withdrawn JIF bid for a Tier-1 centre and Tier-2s is used in the formal request for money from Spending Review 2000.

October 2000

  • PPARC signs up to the EU DataGrid project, promising 20 people and a Tier-1 centre.

November 2000

December 2000

  • GridPP plan created at a meeting at RAL. Initially the £26m was to help fund UK posts to coordinate the UK arm of LCG, as part of that organisation. It was decided to move towards a UK organisation because LHC Computing was not being sufficiently funded at CERN, to promote UK visibility, give the UK a much closer relationship with CERN IT, and to provide large number of well trained UK people.


January 2001

April 2001

  • A Shadow Project Management Board, refered to as "DataGrid-UK", is established to manage DataGrid until the GridPP plan is approved. Its aim is "to efficiently allocate 9 posts within GridPP which will directly contribute to the UK contribution to the EU DataGrid project"
  • GridPP first proposal submitted. It is a 100 page document, that requests £25.9M for a three year co-development programme with CERN and the EU DataGrid project, funding up to 67 FTE. It includes the Tiered structure, of Tier-0 at CERN, Tier-1 at RAL and four Tier-2 groupings.
  • The proposed WorkGroups are:
    • Workload Management
    • Information Services and Data Management
    • Monitoring Services
    • Fabric Management and Mass Storage
    • Security Development
    • Network Development
    • Prototype Grid
    • Software Support
    • Experimental Objectives
    • Dissemination
    • CERN

May 2001

  • 1st GridPP collaboration meeting at Cosener's House, Oxfordshire, There are 19 institutions involved:

    • The University of Birmingham
    • The University of Bristol
    • Brunel University
    • CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research
    • The University of Cambridge
    • Central Laboratory of the Research Councils
    • The University of Durham
    • The University of Edinburgh
    • The University of Glasgow
    • Imperial College London
    • Lancaster University
    • The University of Liverpool
    • The University of Manchester
    • Oxford University
    • Queen Mary, University of London
    • Royal Holloway, University of London
    • The University of Sheffield
    • The University of Sussex
    • University of Wales Swansea
    • University College London
  • PPARC's e-Science Committee meets to consider the proposal and approves the GridPP project, allocating £17m.

June 2001

  • A PPARC Computing and Networking Advisory Panel report envisgaes that GridPP will have a total of 44 posts. There would be 14 allocated to fufill PPARC's commitment to the EU DataGrid, 15 posts for testbed activities and the final 15 would be based in CERN as the UK contribution to the CERN LHC Computing Project.

September 2001

  • GridPP officially starts, with funding for 3 years
  • LHC Computing Grid Project (LCG) approved by the CERN Council on the 20th of September

November 2001

December 2001


January 2002

  • DataGrid releases first production version of the testbed middleware.

February 2002

1st March 2002

April 2002

May 2002

June 2002

  • ScotGrid, one of the four Tier-2s in GridPP, goes into production

August 2002

  • GridPP makes its first visit to the All Hands e-Science meeting

September 2002

December 2002


January 2003

February 2003

  • PPARC put out call for proposals for the second phase of its e-Science program. GridPP starts work on their proposal for the second phase of the project, GridPP2, to start in Sept 2004

April 2003

June 2003

July 2003

August 2003

September 2003

December 2003


February 2004

April 2004

June 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004


January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

May 2005

  • GridPP has grown to 2,740 CPUs and 67 TB of storage

July 2005

September 2005

October 2005

  • International Grid Trust Federation (IGTF) established to regulate the digital certificates used on the Grid worldwide.

November 2005

December 2005


January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

  • EGEE enters it's 2nd phase
  • PPARC looks for proposals for the continuation of the UK's Grid computing for Particle Physicists after September 2007

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

  • Proposal for GridPP2+ submitted; this would move GridPP2's current end date of September 2007 to April 2008 which will put GridPP's funding in line with the financial year
  • Proposal for GridPP3 submitted; this would extend the project beyond April 2008 to April 2011

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

  • GridPP accounts for 27% of the 2006 total EGEE CPU resources
  • GridPP has 5,000 CPUs and more than 250TB of storage.


February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

  • GridPP embraces blogging and launches planet.gridpp.ac.uk which aggregates all of the collaboration's blogs into one easy to find place.

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

December 2007

  • The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory plays host to a Grids4Kids event with children from a local school.
  • The UK's two major Grid infrastructures get another step closer to full interoperability when key technologies underlining them (Storage Resource Manager and Storage Resource Broker) are demonstrated to work together.


January 2008

  • ELSSI, the Event-Level Selection Service Interface, a user-friendly and intuitive way of building and running queries through the database of ATLAS events has its first release.

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

  • GridPP begins its third phase.

May 2008

June 2008

  • Resource Broker (RB) at Glasgow switched off in favour of the Workload Management System (WMS)

July 2008

August 2008

  • LHC switch on is officially announced as September 10th

September 2008

  • 21st GridPP collaboration meeting, GridPP21.
  • LHC is turned on.
  • GridPP, as a part of STFC, attend the annual UK eScience All Hands meeting in Edinburgh.
  • GridPP organise two events at the BA Festival of Science.

October 2008

  • GridPP attend, as a member of the UK and Ireland federation, the annual EGEE conference in Istanbul.
  • An event officially launching the worldwide LHC Computing Grid, GridFest, is held at CERN.
  • Discussions between NGS and GridPP begin on moving towards a single national UK Grid.
  • Resource Broker (RB) at Imperial College London switched off in favour of the Workload Management System (WMS)

November 2008

  • Grid storage at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory breaks the 1PB barrier.

December 2008

  • The EGI Design Study release their blueprint for the European Grid Initiative
  • The last 2 GridPP Resource Brokers (RB) at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory are switched off in favour of the Workload Management System (WMS)


February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

  • 22nd GridPP collaboration meeting, GridPP22.

May 2009

June 2009

  • STEP'09 (Scale Testing for the Experiment Program) runs from the 2nd to the 14th of June. The final analysis of this testing period is very positive for the UK.

September 2009

November 2009

December 2009

  • LHC breaks record for highest energy collisions, 2.36Tev.
  • GridPP has a joint stand with NGS at the UK eSCience All Hands Meeting and IEEE eScience meeting in Oxford.
  • An international review of UK eScience is taking place. The review is looking at all the project's funded under the UK's eScience programme since 2001 and judging their success or otherwise.

January 2010

  • The results of the international review of UK eScience are launched GridPP is selected to have a stand at the event showcasing the programme's successes.

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

  • 24th GridPP collaboration meeting, GridPP24.
  • The 5th and final EGEE User Forum is held in Stockholm, Sweden. With many stranded in Sweden due to volcanic ash.
  • The Pegasus project ends.
  • The Enabling Grids for EsciencE project ends.

May 2010

  • The European Grid Initiative begins.

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010


February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

  • Institute of Physics, High Energy Particle Physics meeting si held in Glasgow
  • The EGI User Forum is held in Vilnius

August 2011

  • NGS funding extended to July 2012

September 2011

November 2011

December 2011


March 2012

  • EGI Community Forum held in Munich
  • Collaborations Workshop held in Oxford
  • Prof Pete Clarke gives the 2012 Kelvin Lecture

April 2012

  • 28th GridPP Collaboration Meeting held in Manchester
  • Institute of Physics, High Energy Particle Physics meeting is held in London

May 2012

  • Computing in High Energy Physics meeting held in New York

July 2012

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