The decentralized Cloud network iExec has released its first Software Development Kit (SDK) product during Devcon3 in Cancún, Mexico. The service will enable blockchain applications to access an affordable, scalable, transparent and secure off-chain computing Cloud. Several other announcements were made during the conference keynote of CEO Gilles Fedak, including the first App Store for decentralized applications and a new research programme.
iExec has been focusing on building the first blockchain-based decentralized Cloud computing platform for some time and the release of its first SDK product at Devcon3 Conference follows months of stellar work by the iExec development team. The announcement is seen by the company as its first major goal on its roadmap to eventually create a future decentralized economy by providing a unique platform for unlimited computing power to blockchain applications.
iExec is also creating the first decentralized marketplace for Cloud resources (servers, storage, applications and data sets). In April 2017, the company published its official white paper, detailing its plan to bring its vision to market. The team remains perfectly on track and has been delivering on schedule and up to promise. iExec is often known as the Airbnb for servers as its platform automatizes peer-to-peer interactions among users and providers in a safe, secure, transparent, and trustworthy blockchain experience.
On November 3rd, Gilles Fedak, PhD, CEO and co-founder of iExec, made several major announcements during his keynote speech at Devcon3's Ethereum Developer Conference:
- Thanks to this first release, the developers are now able to overcome the limitations of the blockchain in terms of storage and computing capacities. By relying on the iExec SDK (Software Development Kit), developers can deploy and execute complex applications from the blockchain. This innovation, called "off-chain execution", allows them to broaden the application usage of Ethereum and address an important scalability issue which is the high processing cost of "on-chain execution".
- In addition, developers are now able to earn RLC tokens by renting their applications on the blockchain. iExec has announced that developers will also be able to promote their business on the first App Store for decentralized applications. The targeted sectors are applications focused on AI, Big Data, IoT, fintech, and green IT. All the major digital trends could be powered by the platform.
- Being very product-oriented, iExec has already started working with companies in order to see concrete deployments of its platform. The first proof-of-concept will be in finance. iExec wishes to stay at a cutting-edge level: PhDs are working on the state-of-the-art design of a proof-of-contribution protocol (PoCo) and on secure and trusted execution of off-chain computations.
During his address, Gilles went on to outline the company's recent progress, stating: "This first version of iExec shows that we are able to overcome several limitations from the blockchain technology. We are proud to release this product only six months after the start of the project. It opens new perspectives for decentralized businesses and new opportunities for developers and start-ups."
Blockchain is the technology powering Bitcoin. It is the best way to assure traceability and transparency during digital transactions without the need of a third party. A blockchain is a chain of blocks recording and time-stamping each transaction. Ethereum is the second generation of blockchains, which can be programmed thanks to smart-contracts.
The massive transformational goal of iExec is to provide the computing solution to each digital entrepreneur developing remarkable ideas on the blockchain. Indeed, iExec aims to create the platform providing unlimited computing power to blockchain applications that want to create the future of the decentralized economy.
The technology behind iExec leverages more than 15 years of work from its founders Haiwu He and Gilles Fedak, who have published more than 80 scientific papers in the pioneering field of Desktop Grid and Cloud computing. iExec released RLC tokens in April 2017, during an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), raising the equivalent of 12 million dollars in less than 3 hours.Leslie Versweyveld 2017-12-01T12:42:00Z
The proceedings of the Third International Conference on BOINC-based High Performance Computing: Fundamental Research and Development, also known as BOINC:FAST 2017 and held August 28 - September 1, 2017 in Petrozavodsk, Russia, have been published. They are edited by Evgeny Ivahsko and Alexander Rumyantsev from the Institute of Applied Mathematical Research, Karelian Research Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrozavodsk, Russia.
The proceedings can be downloaded at http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1973/.Leslie Versweyveld 2017-12-01T12:25:00Z
The Third International Conference on BOINC-based High-performance computing: Fundamental and Applied Science for Technology - BOINC:FAST'2017 - will be held August 28- September 1, 2017, in Petrozavodsk, Russia.
High performance computing is extremely important for modern fundamental and applied science. Desktop Grid technologies are used in scientific research together with clusters and Grid systems, while Volunteer Computing assist in breakthroughs in astronomy, biotechnology, fundamental physics and mathematics, and many other branches of science. However, unused potential of Desktop Grids is still quite high.
The Third International Scientific Conference "BOINC-based High Performance Computing: Fundamental Research and Development" is devoted to studying potential of distributed Desktop Grid computing, exchange of experience in creation and support of fundamental and applied BOINC projects. Among other, reports concerning technologies of development of distributed applications, processing of data, mathematical modeling of Desktop Grid, fundamental and applied BOINC projects will be presented.
During the conference a meeting of the Russian Branch of "International Desktop Grid Federation" and a meeting with crunchers who participate in BOINC-projects will be organized.
Deadline for paper submission is April 3, 2017.
More information is available at http://boincfast.ru/.
Leslie Versweyveld 2016-12-30T13:16:00Z
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Parallel and Distributed Applications and Algorithms
- Cloud OS, Middleware, Toolkits, and Applications
- Data Intensive Computing and Data Centre Architecture
- Big Data Platforms
- Web-Based Computing and Service-Oriented Architecture
- Multi-core and Multithreaded Architectures
- Virtualization Techniques
- Resource Provision, Management, and Scheduling
- Security and Privacy
- Cluster and Grid Computing
- Power-Aware and Green Computing
- Internet of Things
- Peer-to-Peer Computing
- Wireless and Mobile Computing
- Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks
- Performance Modelling and Evaluation
- Communication and Networking Systems
- Dependable and Trustworthy Computing and Systems
- Real-Time and Multimedia Systems
- High Performance Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
- Cyber-Physical Systems
- Operating Systems Distributed and Parallel Systems
- Embedded systems
Deadline for paper submission is July 1, 2016.
This conference is organised by Huazhong University of Technology.
More information is available at http://grid.hust.edu.cn/icpads2016.Leslie Versweyveld 2016-03-24T08:18:00Z
The Centre for Parallel Computing (CPC) at the University of Westminster is one of the leading research centres in distributed and parallel computation technologies. In particular it is engaged in research on Distributed Computing Infrastructures such as clouds, desktop and service grids. CPC has successfully established a track record of secured research funding in large-scale collaborative research projects – more than 10 projects in the last 7 years. Currently it is leading an EU-funded project (CloudSME) and participating in one more (IDGF-SP). CPC has an extensive publication portfolio of journal and conference papers since 2000. The CPC team consists of two full-time professors, one reader and four researchers.
The CPC is looking for two Research Associates to carry out research in Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCI’s), particularly in cloud, desktop and service grid infrastructures used in European and UK research projects, and implement technical solutions that manage applications and workflows in these DCIs at the Centre for Parallel Computing. Successful candidates will be expected to contribute to management, operational support and technical development of DCIs.
The expected experience should include good programming skills (preferably Java), and user-level knowledge of the Linux operating system.
Job reference number: 50040505
Closing date: 4 February 2015
More information is available at: https://vacancies.westminster.ac.uk/Hrvacancies/default.aspx?id=50040505Leslie Versweyveld 2015-01-18T12:45:00Z
The 7th International Workshop on Science Gateways - IWSG 2015 - will be organized June 3-5, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.
Science gateways are a community-specific set of tools, applications, and data collections that are integrated together via a web portal or a desktop application, providing access to resources and services of distributed computing infrastructures (DCIs). Science gateways offer the potential to open the utilisation of DCIs to wider audiences by providing a customised and easy to use user interface to access large computational and data resources. The complexity of the underlying infrastructure can be completely hidden from the end-users by a suitably tailored interface. As interest in science gateways has accelerated in the past few years, an increasing number of new user communities can utilise grid or cloud computing resources in a convenient manner.
The workshop aims to bring together researchers and scientists from different scientific domains, along with science gateways developers, to discuss problems and solutions in the area, to identify new issues, to shape future directions for research, foster the exchange of ideas, standards and common requirements and push towards the wider adoption of science gateways in e-Science.
The organizers invite the submission of papers related to various aspects of Science Gateways. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
- Science gateway enabling technologies and development frameworks
- Ready to use science gateways in different areas and disciplines
- Management of high-throughput data via science gateways
- Portal technology and portal construction methods
- Usage models and gateway tools in different disciplines
- Security aspects of science gateways
- Usability studies of science gateways
- Workflows and service composition in science gateways
- High level tools for managing grid and cloud portability
- Demonstrations/success stories
There are three alternatives for researchers to present their work: talks, lightning talks, and demonstration sessions. Submission of a full paper may result in a talk, submission of an abstract may result in a lightning talk or a demonstration. Details of the call are available at http://iwsg2015.lpds.sztaki.hu/?m=3
For further details you can visit the workshop website at http://iwsg2015.lpds.sztaki.hu/Leslie Versweyveld 2015-01-13T09:51:00Z
The National Supercomputer Forum took place at Peraslavl-Zalesskij, 25-27 November, 2014. The conference gathered top Russian HPC vendors, software developers, and scientists. The Russian Chapter of IDGF presented two plenary talks and organized a dedicated Desktop Grid session (10 talks). During the session, two representatives of the Russian volunteer community, Alexander Andreev and Maxim Manzyuk, were awarded for outstanding achievements in promoting desktop grid technologies. At the last day of the conference, the Russian Chapter had a round table where a fruitful discussion took place on various technical, social and commercial aspects of desktop grids.
More information is available at the following websites:
National Supercomputer Forum: http://www.nscf.ru
Computerra newspaper article: http://www.computerra.ru/110991/cluborun-grid-optimization/
Site of the Russian Chapter: http://desktopgrid.ru
Site of the Russian volunteers: http://boinc.ru
IDGF is now fully operational at the EGI Operations Centre. The IDGF integration procedure has been completed. All necessary operational teams and tools are established in IDGF Operations Centre and they are ready for production. This Operations Centre is visible in all operational tools as IDGF and is responsible for all IDGF sites.
The organizers from the IDGF and AlmereGrid Foundations look back on a successful Crowd Computing 2014 event. The IDGF meeting welcomed 22 participants, including 3 remote presentations from IDGF members and the Workshop on Citizen Science Technology Platforms had 26 attendants, including 4 remote presenters.
The IDGF meeting concentrated on topics that are of direct interest to the member organisations of IDGF, especially those who operate Desktop Grids or Crowd Computing as we call it today. This year the focus was on 3 themes for Desktop Grid/Crowd computing operators and users: financial aspects, managing and operations, and communication, especially with citizens.
There were also several presentations with more information on financing Crowd computing. Charity Engine provided a working business model for commercial Crowd computing. Peter Hanappe summarized IDGF findings for volunteer based Crowd computing. He also looked at Green IT aspects, and introduced a measurement programme to collect data on the power usage and efficiency of applications running in Crowd computing.
The embedding of Crowd Computing in general frameworks that are used for instance in Smart City design and sensor clouds was discussed by Antonio Puliafito. There are more and more sensors, in the emerging Internet of Things, collecting more and more data. Frameworks are needed to collect, analyse and use this sensor data.
Probably the best example of an integrated use of all kinds of resources was given by David Wallom of Oxford university. Their Climate Prediction programme involves citizens, crowd computing platforms and federated Clouds. Because of the direct impact that Climate has on people's lives, it is easy to mobilise a lot of citizens, providing you do it on the right way.
The slides and video-taped presentations are available at:
The venue for the Crowd Computing 2014 Event has changed. The event will now take place at the headquarters of the IDGF Foundation - Manuscriptstraat 32 - 1321 NN Almere, The Netherlands.
The International Desktop Grid Federation is organising its first member meeting on September 24, 2014.
The first IDGF member meeting is co-located with two other events: a one-day tutorial on Crowd & Computing on September 23, and a workshop on Citizen Science Technology Platforms on September 25. The whole three-day event will take place under the umbrella of the Crowd Computing 2014 Event.
The IDGF technical meeting will concentrate on topics that are of direct interest to the members and member organisations of IDGF, especially those who operate Desktop Grids or Crowd Computing as we call it today.
Here are some of the highlights:
- A pay-per-use model from UK chapter. Mark McAndrew, Charity Engine
- Project opportunities in H2020 - Overview. Gabor Terstyanszky, University of Westminster
- Case study from the Dutch Chapter. Adam Belloum, University of Amsterdam
- Case study from the Russian Chapter. Mikhail Posypkin, Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Kharkevich Institute)
- Case study from the South-East Asian Chapter. Muhammad Farhan Sjaugi, Perdana University - Centre for Bioinformatics
- XtremWeb-HEP developments. Oleg Lodygensky, CNRS
On September 25, Green IT and Crowd computing featuring Peter Hanappe, and Novel approaches to Crowd computing will be addressed during the workshop on Citizen Science Technology Platforms.
You can register at http://crowdcomputing.eu/registration-2014
In the Big Data Value Centre in Almere, in the Amsterdam Metropolitan region, the International Desktop Grid Federation is organising the Crowd Computing 2014 event, September 23-25, 2014. Crowd Computing 2014 brings together a community that is interested in several aspects of the field. The event kicks off with a one-day tutorial, followed by a technical meeting of the International Desktop Grid Federation. A workshop about Citizen Science Technology Platforms concludes the three-day event.
For the tutorial, the main focus will be on Crowd computing technologies and how they can be integrated into Citizen Science Platforms. Experts will give presentations on BOINC, the XtreemFS Cloud Files system, sensor Cloud computing, Big Data integration in Citizen Science platforms and other related topics. The Tutorial is organised by the Cloud Summerschool Almere.
On the second day, the 50 organisations and 250 individuals who are member of the International Desktop Grid Federation, will get the opportunity to meet other members and discuss common issues and opportunities. The technical meeting will focus on three themes for Desktop Grid/Crowd computing operators, including financial aspects; managing and operations; and communication, especially with citizens. At the end of the day the members will leave with a lot of exciting new ideas for their own infrastructure and donors.
The topic of the workshop on 25 September is "Citizen Science Technology Platforms". Interest in Citizen Science is growing rapidly. Crowd Sourcing and Crowd computing are giving it a boost. Most Citizen Science projects start out as a project developing their own support platform or using some general available packages. Recently more general Citizen Science Platforms are emerging that try to support more projects. In Crowd computing, some technology platforms are already in use for about a decade and have accumulated a wealth of experience. Although each citizen science project is different and can appeal to a different need there are a number of services and tools that can be used and shared among many projects. This could also help citizens move easily between projects. The workshop will focus on common tools and common services for Citizen Science Technology Platforms. Contributions for this workshop can be submitted until August 22, 2014.
You can register for the Crowd Computing 2014 event at http://crowdcomputing.eu/crowd-computing-2014
The team of the Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire at CNRS in Orsay has launched XtremWeb-HEP 9. The release of XtremWeb-HEP 9 is a breakthrough in the world of Desktop Grid Computing. For the first time, "Big Data" applications can be deployed on a hybrid volunteer platform.
XtremWeb-HEP 9 introduces "offering and billing" mecanisms to allow the management of "charged" services. On the other hand, this version permits to deploy "Hadoop" applications.
More information is available at http://www.xtremweb-hep.org/spip.php?article359Leslie Versweyveld 2014-07-23T13:05:42Z
The IDGF booth proved to be a tremendous success at EGI CF 2014. Each day of the event, we counted many visitors with heavy interest in the CloudCase. Many a picture has been taken of this Cloud-in-a-briefcase and quite a lot of in-depth questions had to be answered. The poster with Alexandre Bonvin made people stop and wonder. The IDGF Road Map samples were intesively studied and many flyers were handed out.
The 20th IDGF Tutorial and Workshop, scheduled on May 19, attracted about two dozen participants. The slides and video recordings of all speakers are available at http://desktopgridfederation.org/programme20
We also interviewed Yuliya Fetyukova and Péter Ittzés from BioVeL on the use of Crowd computing to study biodiversity. The video is available at http://vimeo.com/96805375
Leslie Versweyveld 2014-06-05T13:22:23Z
IDGF will be present with a tutorial/workshop and a booth at the EGI Community Forum 2014 in Helsinki, Finland, May 19-23, 2014.
On display at the booth are:
- CloudCase: a fully functional 8 RPI computer cluster-in-a-briefcase demonstrating: XtreemFS cloud file system, BOINC crowd computing, eStep e-Science middleware.
- Video list: Big Buck Bunny explaining Desktop Grids; Big Buck Bunny helps explaining XtreemFS; WeNMR video-interview with Alexandre Bonvin; BioNMR video interview with Goran Karlsson
- Demonstrations: On request we can demonstrate: WeNMR, BioVel, and Autodock applications running on crowd computing.
The 20th IDGF tutorial and workshop is titled "Supporting EGI users with crowd computing based on Desktop Grids" and hosts five presentations:
1. The HADDOCK WeNMR portal goes crowd computing by Alexandre M.J.J. Bonvin, WeNMR, Faculty of Science - Chemistry, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
2. Spatially explicit ecosystem modelling with the help of workflows and desktop grid technology by Peter Ittzes, BioVeL
3. Utilisation of IDGF computational resources: alternatives by Jozsef Kovacs, MTA SZTAKI, Hungary
4. Establishing and operating local desktop grids - use the power of your institutions idle computers by Tamas Kiss, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
5. Overview Crowd Computing by Ad Emmen, Stichting IDGF & AlmereGrid, The Netherlands
The tutorial/workshop will be concluded by a panel discussion.
More information is available at http://desktopgridfederation.org/programme20
VISIONAIR is a European infrastructure for high-level research, high-level visualization and interaction facilities. VISIONAIR provides access to researchers all around Europe to do their research in 1 of the 23 partner facilities. In the common IDGF-SP/VISIONAIR booth in Athens, Greece, the partner from the University of Grenoble - Grenoble-INP - in France presented a series of VISIONAIR videos by running them on the CloudCase of IDGF. A real proof of interactive and innovative collaboration between the two projects.
IDGF will be present with a booth at the Second International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI) in Athens, Greece, April 2-4, 2014.
The ambition of ICRI 2014 is to highlight how global research infrastructures can respond to the grand challenges that the world is facing today, what lessons have been learned from the past, and what the priorities and directions are for the future.
IDGF will demonstrate its research infrastructure to the exhibition visitors in five different ways:
1. Cloud-in-a-Briefcase: XtreemFS Cloud file system portable demo served with Raspberry Pis - A small local Desktop Grid, based on http://cloudcase.eu. This will contain 8 computers and will be fully operational as a miniature version of the complete infrastructure. This will be used to explain the technical basics, and interact with the booth visitors so IDGF can demonstrate life how the million-computer infrastructure actually operates.
2. Crowd computing Live: links with scientific users showing how donated computing power is used for scientific research applications
3. Live "Killer Queen" applications: WeNMR, BioVEL, DIRAC running on the IDGF infrastructure
4. Big Buck Bunny distributed rendering showcase - an explanatory video running when there is no life demo.
5. And now it's up to you: How can you start giving science a helping hand by donating your unused computing time?
Featuring also in this booth: a "Stop wasting your computing time" poster and IDGF flyers that invite scientists to become IDGF member and start using the IDGF infrastructure.
The XtreemFS team released a new stable version of the cloud file system XtreemFS. XtreemFS 1.5 (Codename "Wonderful Waffles") comes with the following major changes:
- Improved Hadoop Support: Read and write buffers were added to improve the performance for small requests. The team also implemented support for multiple volumes e.g., to store input and output on volumes with different replication policies.
- SSDs support: So far, an OSD was optimized for rotating disks by using a single thread for disk accesses. Solid State Disks (SSDs) cope well with simultaneous requests and show a higher throughput with increased parallelism. To achieve more parallelism per OSD when using SSDs, multiple storage threads are supported now.
- Multi-Homing Support: XtreemFS can be made available for multiple networks and clients will pick the correct address automatically.
- Multiple OSDs per Machine: Machines with multiple disks have to run an OSD for each disk. The team simplified this process with the new xtreemfs-osd-farm init.d script.
- Bugfixes for Read/Write and Read-Only Replication: The team fixed a problem which prevented read/write replicated files to fail-over correctly. Another problem was that the on-demand read-only replication could hang and access was stalled.
- Replication Status Page: The DIR status page has got a visualization for the current replica status of open files. For example it shows which replica is the current primary or if a replica is unavailable.
The team prepared a tutorial which walks you through the setup of a read/write replicated XtreemFS volume on a single machine. The tutorial lets you stream a video from the volume and simulate the outage of a replica. You'll learn about the details of the XtreemFS replication protocol and why the video stalls for some seconds and then playback resumes.
AlmereGrid has put the tutorial to the next level: They created a setup of eight Raspberry Pi mini-computers running XtreemFS - packaged in a briefcase. Check the website CloudCase.eu for more details and the video which shows the briefcase and the demonstrated fail-over.
You can use XtreemFS directly in your application with our C++ and Java client libraries. This way you avoid any overhead due to Fuse and can access advanced XtreemFS features which are only available through the maintenance tool "xtfsutil" otherwise e.g., adding replicas.
From using XtreemFS it's only a small step to dive into the XtreemFS source code itself. The team collected several introductory documents for novices in a Google Drive folder "XtreemFS Public". For example, have a look how to setup the XtreemFS Server Java projects in Eclipse.
More information is available at http://xtreemfs.org/Leslie Versweyveld 2014-03-14T12:05:35Z
Fermin Serrano, project leader of the Socientize project, explains why it is important to participate in the consultation phase for the White Paper on citizen science that is now open until March 27. The white paper will play a role in for instance European Commission policy on citizen science. Fermin Serrano also explains why he was happy to be at the Citizen Cyber Science Summit in London, where this interview was done.
The Socientize project addresses the future of Citizen Science in Europe. In Citizen Science there are different roles of participation to make science more efficient using different tools including mobile devices, desktop grid computing and so on. Socientize is not only about science, it is also a social process dealing with policy outcomes.
The Citizen Cyber Science Summit was an excellent opportunity for the Socientize project partners to meet with their different stakeholders.
You can contribute your own ideas to the White Paper at whitepaper.socientize.eu
Watch the interview at http://vimeo.com/88191636Leslie Versweyveld 2014-03-11T13:25:11Z