GridPP returns to CERN

In early September, GridPP, the collaboration that manages the UK’s contribution to the worldwide LHC Computing Grid (wLCG), celebrated a decade of work by holding its twenty-seventh collaboration meeting at CERN.


Officially launched in September 2001, GridPP was one of the original partners in wLCG, funding much of the early work at CERN. Over the last decade GridPP has gone from a mere proposal to almost 30,000 CPUs working for researchers scattered across the globe. Twice a year, GridPP meets to discuss the progress and future plans of the community and this year, for the first time since 2004, decamped to CERN for this biannual meeting on the theme “GridPP in the International Context”.

The main meeting was held over 2 days in the IT auditorium and was the perfect opportunity to have contributions from experts based at CERN, alongside those from within GridPP. Opening with a welcome from Frederic Hemmer, Head of the IT Department at CERN, the meeting began with talks on the LHC machine and LHC physics by Mike Lamont and Massimiliano Bellomo. These were followed by talks from each of the LHC experiments, also given by people based at CERN.

As the meeting progressed, the topics moved more towards discussion of grid technology and the future direction of the European grid, with talks covering middleware, a new distributed file system being tested at some sites and the role the European Grid Infrastructure will play in the future of the grid. After close of business on the Thursday, the group retired to Restaurant 1 for some well deserved refreshments and a chance to continue the discussion before heading to the Auberge de Dardagny for a dinner sponsored by Dell and Platform Computing.

After the first day of outward and forward looking talks, the Friday was dedicated to a review of the activities within the collaboration in the previous six months. Covering the four Tier-2 facilities in the UK, as well as security and hardware resilience, the talks were designed to update, inform and pass on experience to the wider collaboration.

David Britton, GridPP’s project leader, was delighted with the meeting: “It was fantastic to get over half of the contributions from people based outside the UK. It was also a great opportunity for many members of GridPP to visit CERN and experience first-hand the excitement of being so close to the action. The event was extremely productive both inside and outside the formal meetings and we much appreciated the warm welcome from CERN.”

The agenda and talks can be found here.

by Neasan O'Neill