Friday, 1 April 2011

Looking back and saying thank you.

This is the 50-th R+D post on the NGS blog and - despite the date - I will not be trying to be funny. It doesn't seem appropriate given that the NGS's Research and Development activity is winding down.

In the original plan, Phase 3 of the NGS would have finished yesterday. Although we have been granted an extension until the end of September 2011 to prepare for Phase 4, we will be spending this time ensuring that the services we have developed work as well as possible.

It does provide an ideal excuse to look back on what we have achieved - and not achieved - over the last 2 years.

NGS3 arrived at around the time when researchers were becoming interested in cloud computing - and we covered both cloudy and more traditionally griddy services from the earlier phases.

The cloudy bit - run from Oxford and Edinburgh - built an Amazon-ish cloud for academic that eventually formed the the NGS Cloud service.

The griddy bit that - run from Leeds - concentrated on improving the underlying authorization, accounting and monitoring upon which the people who use grid in their research rely.

We'll cover each of these in future postings.

I want to use this one to say that building anything with the help of a group of people spread over 5 institutions and 6 sites, split between many projects and who seldom meet in person - was always going to be interesting.

You can reach new levels of miscommunication when your primary way of talking to one another involves email, or phone, or messages posted to a Basecamp instance, or doing Max Headroom impressions in AccessGrid.

Anyone who can survive the experience and produce something deserves credit.

So if Jonathan Churchill, Simon Collins, Cristina Del Cano Novales, Mark Duller, Matt Ford, Robert Frank, Gokop Goteng, Jens Jensen, Mike Jones, Kevin Haines, Shiv Kaushal, Akay Okcun, David Meredith, Ahmed Sajid, James Scott, David Spence, Steve Thorn, Duncan Tooke, Paul Townend, Matteo Turilli or Steve Young are reading this, I would like to take this opportunity to say:
Thank you.

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