[OSG 2006] e-Science and Cyberinfrastructure – Tony Hey


Tony is Corporate VP for Technical Computing at Microsoft

We’re goin gback to Licklider’s original vision for computing – “all the stuff linked together throughout the world”

We’re entering a new era of science – we’ll be overwhelmed by data. The need to mine data from all over the place – satellites, telescopes, etc. Grad students have been given “database 101” and then told to go build things to scale to terabytes – not a good use of science talent. Hence the need for:

e-Science – data-driven multidisciplinary science and the technologies to support such distributed, collaborative scientific research. A shorthand for a set of technologies to support collaborative networked science. High performance computing and information management are two of the key technologies.

Vision for scientific workflow – instead of having scientists doing the data plumbing, you want to have a data workbench that combines visual programming tools with persistent distributed storage along with distributed computation. Legacy programs can be wrapped in xml and exposed via web services.

Scholarly communication is also changing the nature of research. Documents increasingly will be linked to data which can be updated, streams of comments, etc.

Two examples of e-science
– astronomy data grid IVO
Comb-e-chem project

Vision of the grid – set of middleware services supported on top of high bandwidth academic research networks.

A set of services that allow scientists – and industry – to routinely set up ‘Virtual Organizations’ for their research – or business.
– the ‘Microsoft Grid’ vision is as much about integrating and managing data and information than about compute cycles.

Federated Trusts are a big issue – using institutional authentications.

Service-orientation for building distributed systems.

Progress in grid standards?
– We need to agree on a set of grid service standards – the GGF/EGA merger into the Open Grid Forum is a great opportunity. The grid research community needs to propose and explore new features in real experiments. What services? 1. Very simple HPC job submissions and simple scheduling; 2. Security – federation; 3. Data storage, metadata. Can we standardize in these three areas by end of 2007?

Scholarly Communication
– global movement towards permitting ‘open access’ to scholarly publications. Principle that results of publicly funded research should be available to all. The Cornyn-Liberman bill is supported by most top US research universities.

Tony notes that Microsoft is working with researchers to understand where Microsoft tools can help – databases are one example. Another is the possible use of Sharepoint technology to share data in communities – does that fit with the way these science communities work? Another is the use of Visual Studio to help write and debug code, whatever platform it runs on.

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1 thought on “[OSG 2006] e-Science and Cyberinfrastructure – Tony Hey”

  1. Sharepoint is nice, but it’s pretty much a zero out of the box and relies heavily on clients that use Windows, Office, and IE. Somehow I can’t see it being broadly used in the multiplatform chaos that represents academic research…


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