Sunday, June 7, 2009

EGEE Business Day meeting at LinuxDays

EGEE has regular outreach activities to the business community. EGEE Business Days enable us to inform our Business Associates (commercial organisations collaborating with EGEE by either using or selling services around our technology or knowledge) what we are doing and for our Business Associates to tell us what they are up to and their future plans and requirements. All this takes place with participants from the Business Forum (those interested in EGEE's commercial outreach activities) and on this occasion with visitors from the Linux Days meeting in central Geneva.

This meeting saw some interesting updates from two EGEE Business Associates.

Linalis is a Geneva based company that provides consulting services around open source technologies. As an EGEE Business Associate it is able to use its knowledge of EGEE's activities and technology, and its interactions with EGEE partners, to provide a 'Grid Discovery Workshop'. This two day workshop is designed to bring an organisation up to speed on grids and to show how the technologies could work within their organisation. It includes a general introduction to grids, the gLite middleware used within EGEE, the software tools and applications within the RESPECT programme that build upon the gLite platform and the pre-competitive access to these deployed technologies that is provided through the GILDA testbed.

Maat Consulting is another EGEE Business Associate with a long history of working with EGEE technologies within other EU funded projects. One of their latest projects, neuGrid, uses their GKnowledge software to access data and compute services provided by gLite to support medical knowledge discovery in the neurosciences.

Constellation Technologies uses gLite technology behind their SuperCloud product to integrate different distributed computing infrastructures.

The discussion following this presentation touched upon the classic grids vs. clouds debate that has been going on and on and on... and is only displaced by the debate of are we building grids on clouds or clouds on grids. From my perspective these are just technology options and their use (or not) should be of little relevance to end-users. The key thing from much of the EGEE user community is the reliable deployment and delivery of particular service interfaces - generally from the gLite platform. How these are delivered is something of a secondary concern.

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