The University of Edinburgh is one of the main participating institutes in the GridPP Collaboration. This allow individuals and organisations such as the LHC collaborations to access vast quantities of distributed computing resources for scientific research.

What is the GRID ?

Computational grids are arguably the most significant development in Information Technology (IT) since the creation of the World Wide Web (WWW). Essentially the grid promises to do for computer hardware what the WWW did for software. The grid shall allow individuals and organisations access to vast quantities of distributed hardware resources which in turn will enable scientific research and other process intensive applications to be completed in a fraction of the time a single set of resources based at one site would take.

And like the WWW the location that is the center for the development for this type of computing is the European Center for Nuclear Resarch (CERN). The new particle accelerator, based at CERN - the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) produces PetaBytes (1 PB = 1 millon GB) of data each year which has to be stored and processed. This is an enormous task that requires grid computing on an unprecedented scale - using scores of computer farms, with hundreds or thousands of processing nodes and many with storage capacities of 100s of terabytes (TB), distributed worldwide. As a whole it is termed the LHC Computing Grid(LCG). The hardware and software infrastructure of the LCG is currently being developed and deployed. There are more than 100 sites around the globe that are participating in the LCG. Of these, 17 are located in the UK.

What are we doing 

The University of Edinburgh, through its PPE department, is one of the main participating institutes in the GridPP Collaboration. GridPP aims to coordinate the UK involvment in the LCG. Edinburgh is a Tier-2 site and along with Glasgow and Durham (Universities) form ScotGRID  - one of four regional tier-2 centres in GridPP. ScotGRID started as a £800k prototype two-site Tier 2 centre in Scotland for the analysis of data primarily from the ATLAS and LHCb experiments at the Large Hadron Collider and from other.

The particular focus at Edinburgh from the start of ScotGRID has been in distributed storage management. The work at Edinburgh includes test deployments and documentation, through a wiki, of LCG storage related infrastructure. Edinburgh are one of the few LCG sites to have successfully deployed two flavours of storage resource manager, Dcache and Disk Pool Manager (DPM). Edinburgh benefits from the close proximity of the National E-Science Centre (NESC) who provide software support and the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) who maintain much of our hardware.

People in GridPP

Telephone numbers in the list below are shown as UK numbers. Callers from outside the UK should remove the leading zero and use the UK country code (+44).

NamePositionContact detailsLocationPhoto
Academic staff
Peter ClarkeProfessor
Photo of Peter Clarke
Research staff
Robert CurrieGridPP Site Administrator / Group Computing Expert / Software Architect
Wenlong YuanPostdoctoral Research Associate