The Academica Sinica Grid Computing (AGSC), one of EGI’s international partners, was the host of the 18th International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics (CHEP) held in Taipei, Taiwan (18-22 October 2010).
The conference happens every 18 months and is always a chance for the community to meet and discuss their progress. This year’s meeting was especially of interest as it was the first since the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider.
The CHEP series of meetings is important to the EGI community as a lot of particle physics experiments, not just the LHC, are using EGI-InSPIRE-supported services and resources to crunch their data, especially the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG). This means that the last six months have been a real challenge for the infrastructure as it is tested to its limits.
Jeremy Coles, who works for GridPP in the UK, was impressed by the meeting: "As usual CHEP was an excellent conference and in Taipei it was exceptionally well organised,” he says.
“It was great to hear so much positive feedback about the performance of WLCG. There was much talk this year about how the experiment software needs to adapt to efficiently use an increasing number of cores and perhaps also harness the rapidly increasing power of GPUs,” Coles adds.
GridPP had a stand at the conference, showcasing the progress of the last year and a half. The GridPP booth featured a demonstration of RTM, the Real Time Monitor that displays an interactive map of grid activity worldwide. The next CHEP is in New York in 2012.
MetaCentrum, the Czech National Grid Infrastructure, organised a grid computing seminar hosted by the CESNET association in Prague, to discuss current grid status and the implementation of new services. The meeting was held on 15 October and was attended by more than seventy experts.
The main goal of the meeting was to inform current and potential users of high-performance/high-throughput computing about the possibilities available for solving research problems at national as well as international level.
The seminar included a keynote lecture on the challenges of scaling high-performance computing applications to peta-scale levels, by Jean-Pierre Panziera director of High Performance Engineering at Bull Extreme Computing, which co-organised the event.
"The MetaCentrum seminar was an excellent opportunity for users and administrators to meet together in a face to face discussions,” said Ludek Matyska, head of grid activities at CESNET association. “It helped both sides to get much better understanding of what the infrastructure is capable of and what its users are expecting to get from it."
The MetaCentrum operates the distributed computing infrastructure on the behalf of CESNET and cooperative academic centres within the Czech Republic.
The User Community Board (UCB) is going to meet for the first time in 30 November, at EGI's headquarters in Amsterdam.
The meeting, hosted by Steve Brewer chair of the UCB, will bring together representatives from different research areas covering the whole spectrum of scientific fields, from High Energy Physics to Humanities.
"We are going to discuss the emerging requirements of the VRCs [Virtual Research Communities]," says Brewer, who will formally welcome the new VRCs to EGI.
The board meeting will also be attended by organisations not yet established as VRCs, but planning to do so in the near future. "Our key objective for the meeting is to identify needs across the research communities to better inform the technical decisions that lay ahead," adds Brewer.