State of Play:
The Annual DSG Review
The Distributed Systems Group
University of Portsmouth,
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Aims of the talk are:
Present the annual review of the DSG, what has
been done and where we are going…
Have a look at some of the strengths and
weaknesses of the group.
Cross reference what we said we would do and
what we have done!
Try to take a wider view of future research and
where we will be five years downstream!
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The Distributed Systems Group
The Last Year’s Activities
One year project – Sep 2003 – Oct 2004.
With Daresbury, Manchester, Reading and
Aimed to install GTx at all sites and deploy
apps across testbed.
Hong (funded) and Mat worked on the
Regular testbed meetings – at Westminster.
Fund with Starbug + firewalls…
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OGSA Testbed - Outcomes
Knowledge and learning:
Hong at GoSC event today,
SC Demos (jGMA+ GridRM),
Papers at AHM (3 + poster).
Integration with the wider e-Science programme,
Status and profile – e-Science, Globus Alliance…
Useful platform for testing – over the learning curve!,
Leverage for future collaborations and proposals,
Even though funding over, testbed partners want to
continue working together.
Won Web site bronze prize at AHM!
Oh and the case of wine…
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OGSA Testbed - Outcomes
Not such good aspects:
Painful process, working with less than stable
Hiccup and change of direction in Jan 04,
What did the “other” testbed actually do?
No following on funding:
GT4 effort within ETF – we only have a “watching”
Firewalls – remember GridFTP!
Where to place our efforts with this, in the
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MPJ: Progress and Plans
Want to produce a reference Java messaging system – MPJ.
Aamir started working on the effort in Nov 2003.
Working with Bryan Carpenter – now at OMII in Southampton.
MPJ – layered architecture:
Message passing API – similar to MPI.
Secure runtime infrastructure.
NIO device – complete,
Sub-set of API,
Basic infrastructure – embryonic.
Technical – issues with NIO,
Moving goal posts – emphasis on API/Infrastructure.
Complete reference implementation,
Java MP/SM programming framework using MPJ/JOMP.
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GridRM framework has made significant progress
over the last year:
Consists of two layers – local and global (linked via
Deployed GridRM over international testbed.
On-line demos - Cluster 2003/Taiwan/AHM
Garry has submitted his PhD dissertation,
RM review for Core Technologies book.
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Garry – from 8
th Nov - will take up RA post,
NeSC SC04 demo,
SPE journal paper from thesis!
Basis for e-Science proposal,
UG working on Portal,
Afrasyab Bashir – schedulers + broker.
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JEM (recap) consists of:
Software modules that provide OS and other services,
A mechanism to put them together and run them on the
designated small device.
Core modules are complete; JEM can run simple
services on a VM on Linux or Myrinet NICs.
The JEM project was completed in January 2003:
Hong submitted and successfully defended his PhD thesis.
JEM now in limbo, needs:
Packaging and release – plus decent Web pages!
Further development – like a Java VM, modules,
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UISB - #1
The UISB project is developing technologies to
interact, search and download Information Services’
data, e.g. UDDI, LDAP, Jini LUS.
Search IS and retrieve all manner of high and low-level
information that can be examined and potentially used by a
Textual – human readable view,
Technical – so can potentially create client to interact
with the “found” service.
Using Eclipse as the development/deployment platform.
Semantic Web technologies:
RDF as unified data store – so can join disparate info.
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UISB - #2
Slowed by Eclipse development environment!
Interaction with UDDI servers:
For details see Rich’s talk.
Looked at MDS3/4 – problems:
Lack of documentation,
Changing APIs (CoG),
Currently looking at Jini (Java objects).
Break out components from Eclipse,
Look at using the RDF store with Mark H’s project,
Integrate components into a Web portal using Portlet
Rich giving a talk in Italy in December.
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Wanted a Java-based, lightweight!, easy to use,
extensible version of GMA for GridRM.
Was originally called JavaGMA, now jGMA.
Testing and benchmarking over first half of 2004.
Paper accepted and presented:
At UK LUG in Bournemouth – January 2004,
At AHM, Nottingham – August 2004.
Started of with blocking/non-blocking API – first
alpha (binary) release in June.
Refactored in early summer:
Now non-blocking API:
Updated end-point addressing.
Blocking API as add on later.
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Non-blocking jGMA API has been thoroughly tested,
Leasing, partially implemented (found very important),
Demo for SC 04 – looks neat.
Working on a scalable virtual registry:
Based on persistent XML/SQL/text databases/files,
Being designed – Mat will describe this work in detail in
Further benchmarking – compare with PyGMA/R-GMA.
Full integration within GridRM,
Start actively using it in other systems – on-line Games!
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Initiated within the OGSA Testbed project.
Working with Southampton on GITS for OGSA-
Perl scripts to examine and show the status of Grid
Interested in OGSA-DAI as a pervasive technology
for integrating relational databases.
Decided to build a prototype system that pushes
GITS data into a database that can then be
searched and manipulated using an OGSA-DAI Grid
Service and viewed via a Web browser:
Helen is working on this project.
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Perl script to parse GITS – completed,
Poster in AHM,
A number of technical problems:
OGSA-DAI not rock solid yet,
Interaction with mySQL and Xindice problematic.
Starting to overcome hurdles.
First prototype expected to be up and running by the end
Initiate a discussion with Bob N. to talk about using
OGSA-DAI with SDSS – look at intelligent and
efficient search mechanisms on large distributed
Research and develop a number of tools and techniques.
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JISC funds to help with the workshop and pay for
Workshop held at Imperial College in May.
Final report submitted to JISC in September 04.
Potential follow up events – maybe NeSC!
Portal development (Hong):
Part of a JISC proposal to develop a bunch of
services for Sakai.
GridSphere being used for the liquid Crystal work
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Need to look at what are the measures of
success for the group to be able to assess
the potential of the DSG.
The RAE uses:
Are these good metrics?
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Growth of DSG
+ Helen + Mark H.
98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06
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DSG Papers (per year)
X - Conferences + workshop
X - Int. Journal
98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05
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2002 – wrote/contributed to 7+ proposals:
2003 - wrote/contributed to 8+ proposals:
2004 - wrote/contributed to 5 proposals:
JISC JCSR VRE – PD for two years, with
Daresbury, Lancaster, Oxford.
Basic technology programme - Paradigm Shifted
Virtual Screening – PD for 3+ year, with Bio.
Core e-Science – Grid performance modelling –
PhD for three year, with Warwick and
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EPSRC – E-science - 80K
JISC – VRE - 80K
AstroGrid – 100K
With Bio – 100K
NHSE 36K JCSR
10 5K 14K 20K
TOPIC TOPIC TOPIC CLRC
10K 10K 10K 10K CLRC CLRC CLRC
4K 4K 4K
98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05
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MAB – staff.
Submitted PhD Oct 2004,
RA from Nov 8th 2004,
Take AstroGrid post in Feb 2005.
Submitted and defended PhD Feb 2004,
2-year RA post:
OGSA Testbed RA (1 year), + Faculty RA (1 year).
Rich - Faculty PhD bursary (1 year to go).
Mat - DTA PhD bursary (2 years to go).
Aamir - DSG PhD bursary (2 years to go).
Helen – CSSE bursary (2 years to go).
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Esteem (reflects on the group)
TCSC (co-chair) and TCPP (exeCom).
Visiting chair – Westminster/Reading.
Steering Committee of Cluster/CCGrid/Grid.
DSO section editor.
Grid Book – early 2005.
Reviewing (books, journals, conferences).
Membership of conference PCs.
Organisation of events.
Rapporteur for IST CFP, Nov 2003.
Hits on, and prize for Web site…
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Melbourne, Australia, Dec 1999.
Chemnitz, Germany, Nov 2000.
Newport Beach, California, Oct 2001.
Chicago, Sep 2002.
Hong Kong, Dec 2003
San Diego, Sep 2004
Boston, Sep 2005
Barcelona Sep 2006
Berlin, Germany, May 2002, Tokyo, Japan, May 2003, Chicago,
April 2004, and Cardiff 2005
Grid (with SC)
Denver 2001, Baltimore 2002, Phoenix 2003, Pittsburgh 2004,
With SC in 2005 too.
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Hong - February
Garry – November!
Papers – need to produce at least one conference
paper per year and one journal paper per PhD
Income – average, hopeful of success over coming
Esteem – group is well know in the US and has
started to establish a better reputation in the UK
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Emerging national recognition – (Testbed, AHM, SC demos),
Very good relationships with Daresbury and via OGSA
Partially grown group – via visitor and CSSE,
Semi-autonomous (good and bad).
Group has extensive and complimentary skills,
Continue to have greater interaction with the ICG and
growing these links – especially now Bob’s around.
Well connected, building even stronger links with EU and UK
Knowledge in depth Java technologies, gather experience
with WS, and various W3C XML technologies,
Profile via TCSC, DSO, and DSG Web presence,
Undertaking synergetic projects which leads to good group
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UoP CS research is still low-profile, making it doubly
hard to get funds.
Still no internal UoP staff help with getting funding.
Still trying to get other UoP staff involved in DSG
research, potential with ICG and CSSE PhD student.
Administration and administrative effort is
challenging and time consuming, Chris Duncan is
helping us no end, but it still sucks a lot time.
VERY Ham-strung having to work through ISO, e.g.
fire walls, general attitude, etc.
Still little industrial and/or commercial connections.
May be losing Hong – hard to replace!
Semi autonomous – justify our existence, not a very
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OGSA Testbed – Great opportunity which has long term
TCSC, educational and other collaborative changes,
Mark Holliday – various openings,
Building up links with Biology (Martyn Ford – BTP),
Strong national links:
Daresbury, Lancaster, Westminster, Reading,
Southampton, and Manchester.
Grid book – funding for companion Web site and
development of material.
Getting more involved in the e-Science programme,
With ICG we have the best research culture in the UoP!
IEEE CS –TCSC/DSO…
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Involvement with GPN,
Recruitment of students, RAs and more senior staff.
Semi-independence via the ICG!!
Internal faculty funding – will our funds be there in five
Getting bogged down in teaching and administration – a
large overhead is associated.
Making sure DSG income gets tagged for the DSG research.
Not retaining good staff!… losing staff!
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As usual interesting comparing this SWOT with that of last
Some fears regarding threats and weakness have happened:
Group has not grown – limited funding, but had additional input
from Helen and Mark H.
Teaching and university processes are sinks of time and effort!
With respect to our strengths and opportunities we seem to be
taking advantage of them:
Our reputation, skills and presence is helping us a lot,
Optimistic about funding proposals.
I still think our perceived strengths and opportunities out-
weigh the weaknesses and threats, but we still need to be
The biggest threats and weakness are on the still on funding
side (internal and external).
Our strengths are focussed on applied research, useful skills,
good interactions, and lots of enthusiasm!
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I think we’ve had a reasonable year.
We have managed to:
Enhance our reputation,
Produce some good ideas,
Continue to get some income,
Maintaining productive research culture.
Widening our experience and collaborations.
No new students this year,
Limited new funding,
Lots of doing, probably not enough papers.
Congrats to Hong – successful defence of PhD.
Good luck to Garry submitted PhD, viva soon!
I told you we were getting better at Web design.
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Five Years Hence (2002 view)
Group size of ten plus – permanent staff, post docs
and post grads.
Coherent and strongly focused research.
Independent group working in a strong research culture.
Broken down the external view of research at UoP.
Internationally recognised in a number of related
Wide-area resource monitoring,
Java micro-kernel work,
Java-based Grid technologies.
Deployed and regularly downloaded software.
Papers – 30+ conference and journal papers per year.
Invites to collaborate/talk at international
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