Department of Physics and Astronomy

Grid Computing

The Grid Computing activities at Uppsala University dates back to the creation of the NorduGrid project in 2001.

This project was initiated by high energy physicists in the Nordic countries who wanted to create a computing infrastructure in the region suitable for the computing needs of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. In order to achieve this goal collaborations were started with scientists from other scientific fields with a similar interest in computing capabilities. 

The outcome of this project was a middleware suite that has since become known as the Advanced Resource Connector (ARC). The NorduGrid project was later transformed into a research collaboration committed to the continued support and development of the ARC middleware.

Ongoing research

Popular science presentation

Photo: Teddy Thörnlund.

In order to further develop Grid Computing, Uppsala University has taken part in a number of projects within EU’s 6th and 7th framework programs such as KnowARC, the European Middleware Initiative (EMI) and the Initiative for Globus in Europe (IGE).

In order to build a Grid infrastructure not only a suitable middleware is needed. Also the computing resources where the computations take place must be available. The ARC middleware has been successful because of its non-intrusiveness and portability, which has made it easy to integrate already existing cluster installations in the Grid infrastructure.

The Grid Computing resources used by the LHC experiments are coordinated within the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG). In this hierarcical Grid infrastructure the Tier 0 is the computing facilities at CERN. Around the Tier 0 are a number of Tier 1 facilities. The Nordic countries provide one of these by combining resources from various academic computing centres in the region. The Nordic Tier 1 is coordinatied by the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC). The Swedish computing and data storage resources that is part of the Tier 1 are provided by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC).