Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Bridging Latin America and Europe

Monday, February 6th, 2006

In last week’s GRIDToday, it was revealed that the new EELA Project is off and running. As the article states, EELA (E-Infrastructure shared between Europe and Latin America) aims to

build a digital bridge between the existing e-Infrastructure initiatives that are in process of consolidation in Europe (in the framework of the European EGEE Project), and those that are emerging in Latin America, through the creation of a collaborative network that will share an interoperable Grid infrastructure to support the development and test of advanced applications.

Global cyberinfrastructure efforts have not been covered a great deal. The upcoming issue of CTWatch Quarterly will feature articles describing cyberinfrastructure in several countries around the globe, including Brazil, Australia, and Taiwan.

Genome research on TeraGrid

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

With the announcement of a $24 million award to create the Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is establishing a new computational infrastructure to explore marine microbial genome sequencing. The effort establishes the UCSD - Venter Institute partnership, which is charged with CAMERA development. CAMERA will leverage the already established TeraGrid HPC computing facility and create a link between the two partners via the OptIPuter model of high-performance, computational collaboration.

The OptIPuter was described briefly back in the Introduction of the May 2005 issue of the CTWatch Quarterly. As a first real test case for this collaboratory model, it will be interesting to see how the effort progresses. We’ll check in with Larry Smarr, the PI on both CAMERA and OptIPuter, later in the year. More info on the OptIPuter project can be found in this article from R&D Magazine.

Computation AND collaboration

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

Truly understanding the benefits of the Grid requires an understanding of the problems the Grid helps solve. The “inteliGrid”, or “smart Grid” some call it, is a European Union project designed to

… deliver on the long promised but never realised potential of networks, which people and companies can plug into, use its resources, and find and share information based on its meaning.

In other words, this view of the Grid is more than an infrastructure designed to avail computational resources. It’s just as much about the collaboration opportunity. See the InteliGrid website for more information.

No cooperation, no Internet service

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Regardless of whether your Internet is wireless or not, connectivity is apparently not guaranteed even if everything is technically functioning flawlessly. The numerous Internet providers that cooperatively work to provide Internet access around the country don’t always cooperate. As illustrated in this TechNewsWorld article, when business arrangements go south in the Internet provider realm, customers will suffer. This can really be an interesting issue. No one wants the government involved in regulating any aspect of the Internet, but its not out of the realm of possibilities that such squabbles could increase as services continue to evolve and grow. Intentional or not, service breaks that result from such circumstances affect more than just leisure web surfing as many business critical operations are handled by the Internet. Redundancies are often built-in, but more may be needed.

Municipal Wi-fi

Friday, October 7th, 2005

Ubiquitous wi-fi isn’t reality yet, but there is progress. In this article from CIO Today, big city (Philadelphia) wi-fi infrastructure is discussed. By 2006, Philadelphia hopes to have city-wide wireless capability, utilizing one service provider that will provide various price points to other entities, including other ISPs. Coming on the heels of news about Google providing free wi-fi to San Francisco, the stage is being set for quite a showdown between telcos and broadband companies as other cities start planning municipal wi-fi networks. With McCain and Lautenberg’s Community Broadband Act of 2005 on the legislative table, public service could get a much needed boost - depending on your perspective.

Exposing a weak infrastructure, an old one, or both?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

In following the devastation to come out of the Katrina catastrophe, it seems appropriate to look at the communication infrastructure that failed so miserably in New Orleans. The complete inability to connect people with real-time events in NO underscores the importance of having a more or less fault-tolerant communication infrastructure in place. The need for a more complete and robust cyberinfrastructure has now come to the forefront whereas before it may have just been viewed as more “Star Wars” technology being promoted by computer scientists and computer geeks. According to John Powell, a senior consulting engineer with the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council,

… emerging technologies can lead to better communications in the future, but no technology will help you when the total physical infrastructure is inadequate. This is our first big disaster where urban response teams have had to bring in all their own communications equipment” because there was almost no emergency-communications capability left in the city.

Specifically what Powell was referring to are mesh wireless networks based on the 802.11 wi-fi standard and the need for a better system in place as discussed in this Information Week article. It is somewhat unbelievable to think that no communication contingency was in place for an event that urban planners knew could, and probably would, happen in NO. The threat of such an event occurring and discussions of what to do if all power, and thus communication, was lost in the city have been on the table for years.

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