GRDI2020 Envisions New Science Paradigms

By Nicole Hemsoth

September 22, 2011

This week at the EGI Technology Forum in Lyon France, leaders from around Europe gathered to discuss the creation of sustainable, broad-reaching research objectives that would address existing user communities, encourage new ones to develop, and find ways to leverage the influx of data to increase scientific discovery and European competitiveness.

Among the many elements on the agenda for the week, the GRDI2020 Vision was the topic of a great deal of conversation. This effort proposes a ten-year plan to create global research infrastructures that can address the needs of data-intensive scientific projects while remaining sustainable. While this was announced last year, the EGI Technical Forum was the locale for a more comprehensive roadmap as Europe looks ahead to 2020.

The roadmap that was presented this week laid out Europe’s vision for a global research data infrastructure that can be the “enabler of an open, extensible and evolvable digital science ecosystem. This will be maintained and created through advances in grid and cloud computing via the use of science gateways (community-specific sets of tools, application and data collections that can be accessed via a portal or application suite) and virtual research environments (VREs). VREs will be the technological framework behind virtual working environments and communities that collaborate via cloud or grid-based portals.

By creating these environments that take advantage of distributed resources, hardware, software and knowledge-wise, GRDI2020 hopes to create an “interoperable science ecosystem” that will reduce data fragmentation and speed access and use of data stores.

This, of course, involves a great deal of coordination of every layer of the technical and scientific community in Europe. From those providing tools and support to create and maintain the grid or cloud-based ecosystem to those governing—and all researchers in between.

The group sees a large number of challenges, however. Issues like international collaboration, laws and policies at odds certainly tops the list, but other problems, including the technical challenges of creating interoperable tools, authentication layers, data movement issues, and more general aspects of distributed computing are present as well.

Despite the practical concerns that could limit progress, GRDI2020 sees cloud computing as one of the leading forces in the march toward their goals. The group claims that they “envision that the future Digital Data Libraries (Science Data Centers) will be based on cloud philosophy and technology” with each community having its own cloud. This is where federation (an issue that EGI lead Steven Newhouse discussed at length this week) comes into play. By federating these clouds, GRDI2020 can approach the vision with increased collaboration to enable multidisciplinary research.

At the heart of this anticipation of the era of data-intensive scientific computing are a number of concerns that the organization hopes to address, including the need to build realistic, scalable research infrastructures to support data-intensive research. This is a program that the European Commission is backing, and that many attendees at the EGI Technology Forum seemed to feel was a critical first step in advancing European research.

As part of these far-reaching efforts, GRDI2020 seeks to spend the next decade creating “a framework for obtaining technological, organizational and policy recommendations guiding the development of ecosystems of global research data infrastructures.” This means leveraging existing user communities, experts, leaders behind large projects and policy makers to help lead to this vision of sustainable global research systems.

The experts behind this initiative say that Europe has entered the “new science paradigm” in which many areas of research are facing a hundred, if not a thousand-fold increase in the amount of data they contend with compared to just ten years ago. This is due to an explosion in the number of sensors and scientific instruments, not to mention the fact that storing the data gathered is now far more affordable than it was ten years ago.

Officials from the GRDI2020 project say “this data deluge can revolutionize the way research is carried out and lead to the emergence of a new fourth paradigm of science based on data-intensive computing.” They say that this new era will lead to a “data-centric” way of thinking about research and solving problems—but that there is a severe lack of infrastructure available to support these opportunities.

GRDI2020’s vision of research data infrastructures requires a great deal of cross-disciplinary collaboration. They define this new way of thinking about infrastructure in the following categories:

•    Tools and services that support the whole research cycle
•    The movement of scientific data across scientific disciplines (which was an issue that was addressed in detail by the representatives who spoke about GlobusEUROPE and GlobusOnline)
•    The creation of open linked data spaces by connecting data sets from diverse disciplines
•    The management of scientific workflows
•    The interoperation between scientific data and literature
•    The development of an integrated science policy framework.

This week nearly every session addressed one or more of these issues—but the actual GDRI statement on the vision for 2020 broke down these generalities—and shed light on progress toward goals.

The efforts from GRDI2020 might serve as ample motivation to other localized areas to create similar policies. For instance, this type of federated vision could easily extend to multiple universities sharing individual disciplinary clouds that are gathered under one roof. However, if there was one thing that became clear this week, it’s that Europe has its act together, organizationally speaking. By creating research infrastructures that filter down from a policy hierarchy and extend into hundreds of sub-branches, there is cohesion—an essential element of any distributed computing or resource-sharing effort.

The GRDI2020 program is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, which designed to boost Europe’s competitiveness through key technology and research investments. It combines all of the research-driven initiatives in the EU together under one organization, spitting the focus between four areas, including cooperation, ideas, people and capacities. As one can imagine this creates a rather complex set of hierarchies under each classification, leading to a wide range of activities that receive funding and support from the program.

To put the work of GRDI2020 in context and see how they are enabling researchers to have better access to needed tools and infrastructure, a good example is below. While data from fisheries might not be every scientist’s cup of tea, his challenges are similar to those in nearly every discipline—needing to contend with massive data sets in a way that promotes quick access, collaboration and thorough host of tools to manage and solve problems.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Musk’s Latest Startup Eyes Brain-Computer Links

April 21, 2017

Elon Musk, the auto and space entrepreneur and severe critic of artificial intelligence, is forming a new venture that reportedly will seek to develop an interface between the human brain and computers. Read more…

By George Leopold

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia P100 Shows 1.3-2.3x Speedup Over K80 GPU on Financial Apps

April 20, 2017

When it comes to the true performance of the latest silicon, every end user knows that the best processor is the one that works best for their application. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Adds Global Smarts to StorNext File System

April 20, 2017

Companies that use Quantum’s StorNext platform to store massive amounts of data this week got a glimpse of new storage capabilities that should make it easier to access their data horde from anywhere in the world. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC-Driven Weather Simulations Improving Forecasting Capabilities

In September of 1938, a massive hurricane traversed the Atlantic Ocean and made landfall in New England. Due to inadequate and incorrect forecasting, the storm struck farther north and with greater intensity than had been predicted, leaving residents and authorities with virtually no warning or time to properly prepare. Read more…

Scaling an HPC Career in Nepal Can Be a Steep Climb

April 20, 2017

Umesh Upadhyaya works as an IT Associate at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal, which supports the country’s one and only HPC facility. He is directly involved in an initiative that focuses on climate change and atmosphere modeling Read more…

By Nages Sieslack

Hyperion (IDC) Paints a Bullish Picture of HPC Future

April 20, 2017

Hyperion Research – formerly IDC’s HPC group – yesterday painted a fascinating and complicated portrait of the HPC community’s health and prospects at the HPC User Forum held in Albuquerque, NM. HPC sales are up and growing ($22 billion, all HPC segments, 2016). Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Open Sources All Lustre Work, Brent Gorda Exits

April 19, 2017

In a letter to the Lustre community posted on the Intel website, Vice President of Intel's Data Center Group Trish Damkroger writes that effective immediately the company will be contributing all Lustre development to the open source community. Damkroger also announced that Brent Gorda, General Manager, High Performance Data Division at Intel is leaving the company. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Hyperion (IDC) Paints a Bullish Picture of HPC Future

April 20, 2017

Hyperion Research – formerly IDC’s HPC group – yesterday painted a fascinating and complicated portrait of the HPC community’s health and prospects at the HPC User Forum held in Albuquerque, NM. HPC sales are up and growing ($22 billion, all HPC segments, 2016). Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN openlab Explores New CPU/FPGA Processing Solutions

April 14, 2017

Through a CERN openlab project known as the ‘High-Throughput Computing Collaboration,’ researchers are investigating the use of various Intel technologies in data filtering and data acquisition systems. Read more…

By Linda Barney

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Penguin Takes a Run at the Big Cloud Providers

April 12, 2017

HPC specialist Penguin Computing recently re-ran benchmarks from a study of its larger brethren and says the results show its ‘public cloud’ – Penguin on Demand (POD) – is among the leaders in cost and performance. Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and the Colocation Datacenter – a Bridge Too Far?

April 7, 2017

A more standardised HPC platform approach is making the running of HPC projects within increasing financial reach. Read more…

By Clive Longbottom, Quocirca

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference phase of neural networks (NN). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference phase of neural networks (NN). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular offerings such as Caffe, Theano, and Torch. Read more…

By John Russell

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling was pretty much the exclusive realm of the Cray-2 and IBM mainframe class products. That’s changing. We are now seeing an emergence of x86 class server products with exotic plumbing technology ranging from Direct-to-Chip to servers and storage completely immersed in a dielectric fluid. Read more…

By Steve Campbell

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn’t made the task of parallel programming any easier. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural network training and now they are sharing their implementation with the larger deep learning community. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This