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European Research community met at GlobusEUROPE 2012!

posted 5 Oct 2012, 05:27 by Matthias Hofmann   [ updated 5 Oct 2012, 11:56 ]

The participants of the 2nd annual GlobusEUROPE conference in Prague on Monday, September 17th, did enjoy an exciting and varied program. Having over 70 participants attracted, the event was rated as a big success by Dr. Helmut Heller, Project Director of the Initiative for Globus in Europe (IGE). “We, as IGE, are very happy to offer such events tailored for the European Research community”, he says.


One of the numerous highlights of the event was a keynote talk held by Steve Tuecke, Co-PI of the Globus project. He unveiled a new European version of the popular and already widely used Software-as-a-Service file transfer tool Globus Online (http://www.globusonline.eu). “Using the service, European scientists are now able to move large-scale data reliably, taking into account specific European demands”, says Steve Tuecke. This European version of Globus Online was conceived because IGE successfully represented European concerns and requests to the US developers.

Globus Online is a popular, fast, secure, and easy-to-use file transfer service that was recently recognised by R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. With over 6,000 registered users to transfer over 500 million files, close to 7 petabytes, to date, Globus Online can be seen as a continuously emerging and attractive  technology.  “Apart from globusonline.eu, we have a few more things in the pipe”, he says, “including improved versions of the Globus Storage, Globus Collaborate, and Globus Integrate services”. Many new and exciting things are to come, which you will hear about at the next EGCF meeting in Manchester on April 8th, 2013 - reserve the date already!

A further climax of the conference was a panel discussion about the future of the European Grid, moderated by Helmut Heller, including the following persons:

  • Erwin Laure as member of the IGE advisory board and Director of KTH, Sweden,
  • Michael Krieger who is currently the speaker of the European Globus Community Forum (EGCF) as user and community representative,
  • Steven Newhouse as Director of the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI),
  • Jules Wolfrat as Operations Manager of PRACE, and
  • Steve Tuecke representing Globus as a joint project between the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.


The discussion started with the provocative question “Is the Grid idea of a federation where every user is also a provider dead?” After a lively discussion the panel and the audience agreed that it only makes sense to integrate a resource into the Grid if its size is above a certain limit, as otherwise the administrative overhead is simply too large. A certain centralization of resources in resource centers which then join to form a Grid was seen as the way to go.

This lead to the next questions “What is the most important part of Grid? Do users still want Grid computing - or is everyone just doing ssh these days?” The consensus was that Grid computing today has to be seen in a wider context: not the technical implementation, be it GRAM, GridFTP, or Globus Online, is important, but to meet the users’ needs for seamless access to varied remote resources.

During the afternoon session, the IGE software stack was presented in captivating live demonstrations and tutorials. They are available at http://www.ige-project.eu/ige-showcases, including a security showcase using LCMAPS, metascheduling with GridWay, accounting utilising Grid-SAFE, and virtual organisation management with AdHoc-VOMS.

The full program and slides of the presentations can be obtained from: http://www.globuseurope.org/agenda

Interested European Globus users are cordially invited to join the European Globus Community Forum (EGCF) at http://www.egcf.eu/register. EGCF is the community organization for all European Globus users, developers, and administrators.