National Grid Initiatives (NGIs)

Compute infrastructures are less widespread and certainly less known by Digital cultural heritage organisations. Below the compute infrastructures are described per partner country.


Belgium offers grid computing with BEgrid at the federal level. HPC and supercomputing will be provided at the regional level. Currently HPC is provided by the Flemish Supercomputer Centre (Vlaams Supercomputer Centrum - VSC).
BEgrid is the Belgian national grid infrastructure and is connected to EGI. It has about 1.000 cores available. It is coordinated by BELNET and its partners are mostly Belgian universities and research organisations. BEgrid uses the gLite middleware. All members of the partner organisations can get access provided they obtain a personal grid certificate and obtain a VO membership. Other researchers can also ask for access which is normally granted but could depend on the availability of resources. The number of jobs that can be submitted by a single user depends on the site and on the VO but often up to 1.000 submissions are accepted. For parallel processing the maximum number of cores is limited (128 cores) and depends also on the site. The maximum duration is also defined site per site. Typical maximum duration is 96 hours but some sites offer longer execution times.
VSC offers currently HPC computing in a grid scheme between four Flemish universities. Supercomputing will be provided at the end of 2011. The VSC is also responsible for the Flemish contribution to the compute and storage nodes of BEgrid. Currently 5.000 cores spread over six clusters are available. The number of jobs that can be submitted by a single user is negotiable and depends on the type of the job and the concerned cluster. For parallel processing the maximum number of cores is currently about 300-400 for a single job. The policy for the maximum duration of a single job depends on the cluster but a maximum of 24-48 hours is preferred. 


The Estonian grid is run by EEnet. EEnet is also representing the Estonian grid in EGI. The Estonian grid includes now 200 CPUs and 32 GPUs, each with 2400 cores. Maximum number of cores that can be used for parallel processing depends on the amount of free resources at the time of the request. The maximum duration of a single job can be a maximum of seven workdays. The available applications software is CMS and GAMESS.  


The French Grid Institute is a structure of the NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH in charge of the coordination and animation of all the CNRS work in the field of the grid production and research. It serves as contact point towards the partners, in particular European ones, for all the grid projects in these domains. It has vocation to federate, in agreement with the other participating organizations and the departments concerned, the national contribution to international projects. For the production grid the institute will be responsible for the scientific animation around the users communities, and for the induction of new users. It takes at his expense all the efforts of the NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH in the EGI grid production. It is thus responsible for operational aspects and application software of this grid, developments software, communication aspects, spreading and training. It will be responsible for the material financed on the credits of the Institute. It will interact with the LCG-France project for specific questions related to the LHC project. The institute will be in charge of a forum rallying the various communities using the grid and of the development of new users.


HellasGRID provides high performance computing services (High Performance Computing, High Throughput Computing) in the Greek academic and research community. By the installation, operation and support of 6 computing and storage nodes in Greece- (HellasGrid Athens (3), Thessalonica, Patras, Heraklio), the operation of the Certification Authority HellasGrid for the signing of user certificates, the support of the users for the transfer of their applications to the grid infrastructure, the support of applications and provision of libraries and support software.

HellasGRID is the biggest grid infrastructure in the South-Eastern Europe, and one of the most stable infrastructures at European level. Resources of the infrastructure are used by Greek researchers and those active in European programmes. During the last years a significant and increased number of users from various scientific fields (physics, biotechnology, computing chemistry, information technology, meteorology etc.) uses the HellasGrid infrastructure for their computing needs. The infrastructure of HellasGrid is continuously adapted and corresponds to the demands of its users, while the expansion of its offered resources has been planned so that the extra computing needs arising within the following years will be able to be covered. This HellasGRID infrastructure has a capacity of 1.615 cores and is also connected to EGI. The number of Jobs that can be submitted by a single user depends on the load of the infrastructure + the Virtual Organisation the user belongs to. Parallel processing (max. number of CPUs or cores) depends on the size of the site. The largest site offers 615 CPUs. Any user may request to reserve 10 % of that for any given job. The maximum duration of a single job is 1 week.


NIIF offers supercomputing and grid computing services. The NIIF Institute operates the most powerful supercomputer of Hungary that is entirely dedicated to research. The supercomputing service is available to the users of the NIIF member institutes and includes digital cultural heritage institutions. The Hungarian Grid Competence Center (MGKK) was established in 2003 by the five most active Grid centres of Hungary in order to intensively promote and coordinate high-quality research and development activities in the field of Grid computing. The main aim of MGKK is to create a knowledge centre in Grid technology where the available critical mass enables the intensive support of establishing and operating nation-wide Grid infrastructures for the benefit of the whole Hungarian academic community. MGKK will provide consultancy in Grid computing also for the business technology in companies and governmental institutions. Members of MGKK are BME, ELTE, KFKI-RMKI, MTA-SZTAKI, NIIFI and 4D SOFT KFT ; The Hungarian grid is member of EGI via NIFF.


IGI is the Italian NGI (National Grid Initiative) and is part of the European Grid Infrastructure named EGI. It is currently an EU Joint Research Unit (JRU), based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the members in December 2007, and formally supported by the Italian Ministry for University and Research (MIUR) and the European Commission. The IGI infrastructure has more than 22.000 cores. There is in general not a limit to the number of jobs that a single user can submit but a fairshare algorithm is normally applied. Parallel processing is only supported in specific sites and its configuration is site dependent. The maximum job duration is maximal 48 hours but longer durations may be possible at some sites, according to specific arrangements among the VOs and the resource owners. COMETA, the Sicilian grid is part of IGI.


The Slovenian national grid initiative provides resources to EGI and is represented in the EGI Council by ARNES. ARNES runs a cluster for testing the technology where users can also submit jobs. The cluster consists of 300 cores and is growing. The number of jobs one user can submit is currently unlimited. Up to 12 cores can be used for parallel processing.


The Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) is a national metacentre for highperformance computing under the Swedish Research Council dedicated to researchers and their compute requirements. Computing facilities with state of the art compute resources are of strategic relevance for research at the international forefront. National coordination of Sweden's six HPC-centres ensures that these resources are used and developed optimally and SNIC is making these HPC resources available to the Swedish academic research community. SNIC's mandate includes the provision of unified access to the leading supercomputers in Sweden while SNIC is also responsible for the strategic and scientific development and funding of all infrastructure for efficient computing, i.e. networks, compute servers, data storage, visualization and Grid technologies. There are six major high-performance computing centers affiliated with SNIC : Lunarc Lund University ,C3SE Chalmers University of Technology, NSC Linköping University, PDC Royal Institute of Technology, UPPMAX Uppsala University, HPC2N Umeå University

SweGrid - The Swedish GRID initiative

Swegrid is a Swedish national computational resource, consisting of over 3000 cores spread out over 6 clusters at 6 different sites across Sweden. The sites are connected through the highperformance GigaSunet network. Together the computers form what is known as a computational grid, where submitted computation jobs are automatically and transparently started at the most suitable resource, irrespective of where it is located geographically and organizationally. The hardware in the Swegrid project is financed by a donation from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. Operational costs and personnel for support and maintenance are funded by the Swedish research council (VR) via SNIC. VR is also funding research targeted toward grid within the framework of Swegrid. SNIC is coordinator of Swegrid operation. One third of the Swegrid capacity is reserved for high energy physics computation, with the remaining capacity to be granted on a peer-review basis to researchers in different disciplines by the Swedish National Allocations Committee (SNAC). High Performance Computing equipment is available at the six SNIC centres. Note that SweGrid and the HPC computing is only meant for universities. Other organisations cannot make use of this service.


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