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Bristol joins National Grid Service

Press release issued: 25 May 2005

Bristol has joined the National Grid Service, a core part of the UK's e-Science programme.

The UK’s National Grid Service (NGS) passed a significant milestone in May when Bristol and Cardiff joined as the first non-founder members of the service.  

The NGS is the core UK grid, intended for the production use of computational and data grid resources.  NGS is the core service resulting from the UK's e-Science programme

Bristol and Cardiff have become the first self-funded full partners in the NGS.    Neil Geddes, Director of the Grid Operation Support Centre, hailed this as “a major step in the development of the NGS as it moves to become core infrastructure for collaborative research computing."

Tony Hey, Director of the Core e-Science programme, said: "This expansion of the NGS beyond its initial four sites marks a significant new stage of maturity in the development of grid middleware and the ability to provide a stable grid service”.

The full National Grid Service now includes computing and data storage resources at six collaborating institutions (the universities of Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford, and the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) together with the UK’s HPC systems: CSAR and HPCx.

Together these institutions provide integrated computing support to an increasingly wide range of UK researchers. Current projects range from medical imaging simulations through to computational chemistry and astrophysics. In addition, research datasets can be hosted on the data nodes for community access and processing.

David Wallom, Operations Director at the Centre for e-Research Bristol (CeRB), sees Bristol’s membership of the NGS as key to raising the profile of grid computing within Bristol and the southwest, thereby increasing the opportunities to improve research output across the region.

As a full partner in the NGS, Bristol will now have a key role in the continued development of the service, both technically and strategically, ensuring that it develops to meet the needs of the University's own researchers.
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