Monday, 21 September 2009

#egee - This is how the Spanish do it

Well the first day of the EGEE’09 conference has kicked off. The exhibition booths (including the NGS one) are extremely busy and there are lots of interested people coming to see us. If you are here and you are reading this blog make sure you stop by and say hello!

The first day is always a bit mad but I headed into the serenity of a session this afternoon to catch up with the Spanish grid initiative to see what they were up to.

There are many similarities between the Spanish grid and the NGS which was nice to see. They currently have around 900 researchers signed up from 94 research groups in 45 different institutions. They also have 16 VO’s in production with a total of 2024 cores available for use from 6 resource providers. One important point that was made was that this is not the Spanish NGI but a start up for it.

Similar to the NGS, all contributions are voluntary and although they don’t have any SLA’s (unlike the NGS) these are on the way. Again, same as the NGS, they have accounting, ticketing and a regional helpdesk as well as first line support. The Spanish attracted their users in a slightly different way to the NGS. They put out a call for applications which resulted in 20 approved proposals for applications, 22 for pilots (feasibility studies) and 14 for support groups.

There then followed a series of mainly biomed use case examples which I’ve listed these below for brevity. There were some quite interesting applications in there.
  • Using BLAST to analyse horizontal transferences of genes between prokaryotes and plants
  • Grid-Fast rotational docking
  • Construction of phylogenetic trees
  • Medical imaging on the grid – need efficient storage mechanisms and infrastructures for sorting, indexing and processing medical images, in particular mammography.
There was also a presentation on High energy physic applications which mainly related to their contribution to the LHC.

So the first day is nearly over. All that remains now is the welcome cocktail which normally results in a lot of people coming to visit the stands etc and then off into town in search of dinner. Hopefully we won’t have a repeat of last nights torrential thunderstorm!

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