GridPP3 Resources at the University of Oxford

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics

Abstract

'The Grid' is the next leap in computer interconnectivity. The Internet and the World Wide Web are increasingly an integral part of people's lives, helping the world share information and transfer data quickly and easily. In the same way as we now share files and facts over the global network of computers, in the future the Grid will let us share other things, such as processing power and storage space. The Grid is a practical solution to the problems of storing and processing the large quantities of data that will be produced by industry and the scientific communities over the next decade. Particle physicists are waiting for 2007 when a new particle accelerator opens in the world's largest particle physics laboratory, CERN. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be the most powerful instrument ever built to investigate fundamental physics. Once this is fully functional the amount of data being produced will be massive. All this will be too much for one institution to handle so they need to share resources i.e. to use distributed computing. The Grid is built on the same Internet infrastructure as the web, but uses different tools. Middleware is one of these tools. In a stand alone computer the resources allocated to each job are managed by the operating system e.g. Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X. Middleware is like the operating system of a Grid, allowing users to access resources without searching for them manually. GridPP has developed middleware for the Grid, in collaboration with other international projects. Due to GridPP's open source policy, the middleware can evolve and be improved by the people who use it. Distributed computing has been available to scientists for some time but, in general, the use of different sites has to be negotiated by each scientist individually. They need a separate account on each system and jobs have to be submitted and results collected back by hand. Current distributed computing means the user has a lot of work to do to get their results. This is where the idea of Grid computing comes in. Middleware lets users simply submit jobs to the Grid without having to know where the data is or where the jobs will run. The software can run the job where the data is, or move the data to where there is CPU power available. Using the Grid and middleware, all the user has to do is submit a job and pick up the results. Acting as the gatekeeper and matchmaker for the Grid, middleware monitors the Grid, decides where to send computing jobs, manages users, data and storage. It will check the identity of the user through the use of digital certificates. A digital certificate is a file stored securely on a user's computer which allows the Grid to correctly identify a user. The certificates are given to a user by the Certification Authority, with numerous steps to ensure the person applying is who they say they are. The middleware automatically extracts the users' identity from their digital certificate and uses this to log them in. This means users don't have to remember user names and passwords to log onto the Grid, they're automatically logged on using their Grid certificate. After this seamless identification process the middleware will find the most convenient and efficient places for the job to be run and organise efficient access to the relevant scientific data. It deals with authentication to the different sites being used, runs the jobs, keeps track of progress, lets the user know when the work is complete and transfers the result back.

Publications


10 25 50
 
Description Development, operation, and optimization of an international pool of computing resources for basic research.
Exploitation Route Already being done.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
URL https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/
 
Description EGEE 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
Department Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE)
Country Switzerland, Swiss Confederation 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution GridPP forms an important part of the European grid effort under the aegis of EGEE.
Impact Support for Europe-wide grid infrastructure and service.
Start Year 2008
 
Description NGS 
Organisation National Grid Transco
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Set up interface between two systems to share computing resources.
Impact Interface between systems to improve service provided by both.
Start Year 2010
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation Deutsches Electronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Department ZEUS
Country Germany, Federal Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Country Switzerland, Swiss Confederation 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation Fermilab
Department D0 Collaboration
Country United States of America 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation Imense Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation PhenoGrid - Particle Physics Phenomenology on the LHC Grid
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation UK e-Science
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008
 
Description other collaborations 
Organisation University College London (UCL)
Department SuperNEMO
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/
Collaborator Contribution enabling computing technology
Impact Please see https://www.gridpp.ac.uk/users/. Some of these collaborations (in which Oxford resources and effort were involved at different levels) also attracted external funding, though not directly to Oxford.
Start Year 2008