hanks to its achievements in 2002, the
European DataGrid project
(EDG) successfully passed its second year review at the beginning of
Led by CERN together with 20 other scientific and industrial partners, and with 9.8
million euros of EU funding, the DataGrid project objective is to build a computational
and data-intensive European grid infrastructure, thus providing scientists with an
unprecedented computing and data management tool.
A series of successively more sophisticated and reliable versions of Grid middleware,
the software that enables computers to work together in a transparent manner, has been
deployed on a production style testbed covering major European sites. The three
application groups designated to test the system - high energy physics, earth
observations and bioinformatics - have been given access to the testbed and have started
to test their applications and explore the system's various possibilities. Their feedback
has been used to improve the software and define the priorities for the development work.
Within the physics application group, task forces for the ATLAS and CMS experiments were
set up to determine whether the existing system could be used at production level. This
work allowed improvements to be identified and will serve as a basis for the LHC Computing
Thanks to the collaboration with DANTE and EU DataTAG projects, the testbed sites have
been linked by high-speed networks, enabling the project to face the users needs and
perform advanced networking functionality investigations.
To make such a prototype grid a working reality, the EDG team began to deliver a series of
training sessions, which were held last year in seven European cities, teaching the
approximately 200 users who attended how to connect up to and use the testbed.
The project is now ready to get on with its third and last year, which foresees an
extension of the testbed to more sites and a new major release of the middleware software,
intended to provide new functionality and higher levels of reliability and scalability.