WRG Phase III: The White Rose Grid e-Science Centre

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Computing


The White Rose Grid (WRG) is a successful and long-standing partnership (formed over 6 years ago) between the three Yorkshire Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York research communities as well as service providers (ISS at Leeds and CICS at Sheffield) engaged in innovative computational projects and related activities. This initiative has established a production grid that underpins a broad range of e-Science projects and high performance computational research. In total so far over 8.1m (excluding specific project grants) has been invested in the WRG which provides substantial computational and data storage resources. The WRG is a key enabling platform for experiments and a key vehicle for advancement of e-Research. It provides a host environment for developing proof of concepts and novel technology demonstrators. The current Centre is involved in a spectrum of activities including development, application and adoption of advanced methods and technologies as well as WRG and NGS users support. It works with computer scientists, application scientists and service providers. This proposal will build the capacity of the WRG e-Science Centre, which forms a crucial part of the successful WRG project. The Centre will offer improved access to WRG resources and provide more effective support to users engaged in e-Research. It will expand e-Research use and embed its methodologies, techniques and technologies into the White Rose Grid research community. It will develop further its world-leading research and share its extensive expertise, knowledge and skills of e-Research with the larger community of researchers within White Rose, and beyond that with national and international communities.


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Garraghan P (2014) An Analysis of Failure-Related Energy Waste in a Large-Scale Cloud Environment in IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing

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Griffiths M (2015) A Fast MHD Code for Gravitationally Stratified Media using Graphical Processing Units: SMAUG in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

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Liu L (2012) Dynamic service integration for reliable and sustainable capability provision in International Journal of Systems Science

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Moreno I (2014) Analysis, Modeling and Simulation of Workload Patterns in a Large-Scale Utility Cloud in IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing

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Townend P (2013) e-Science-towards the cloud: infrastructures, applications and research. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Townend P (2009) MoSeS: Modelling and Simulation for e-Social Science. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

Description The WRG e-Science Centre platform grant has allowed the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield to remain at the forefront of UK e-Science research and outreach. The grant supported the development of several software technologies, including CROWN-C, E3DC, and data centre analytics software (WRG monitoring software for the web).

The centre has supported many e-science projects from the partner universities, and has offered training workshops and educational outreach.
Exploitation Route The WRG e-Science centre can help to both train businesses in how to use Grid and Cloud computing, as well as potentially provide computational infrastructure for them (assuming an appropriate economic model is agreed upon). The WRG project has supported many research projects including the "WRG Grid", a high-performance computing cluster located at sites in Leeds, York and Sheffield. This allows research projects to run complex tasks and calculations that would be infeasible without such a facility. The outreach performed by the WRG has promoted both UK e-Science and raised awareness that such a facility is available, across departments in Computing, Engineering and Arts & Humanities.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Transport,Other

Description Projects that have been supported by the centre span many domains, from the social sciences to computer sciences to bioinformatics to high energy physics. These projects include E3DC, STRAPP, PSI, GENESIS, AssessGrid, Virtual Vellum, etc.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description University of Leeds 250 Great Minds Academic Fellowships
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Leeds 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2020
Description WUN Travel Fellowship Scheme
Amount £1,600 (GBP)
Organisation Worldwide Universities Network 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 12/2011
Description COLAB: Collaboration between Leeds and Beihang University (China) 
Organisation Beihang University
Department School of Computer Science & Engineering
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The WRG team contributed expertise and software technology in the areas of security, fault-tolerance, and fault-injection testing.
Collaborator Contribution Beihang University worked with the WRG team to integrate software into a Cloud middleware system, resulting in the development of a new Cloud middleware entitled "CROWN-C". This was featured in IEEE Computer magazine.
Impact The CROWN-C Cloud Middleware System - this is now widely used by a number of companies in China. Several major publications in IEEE journals, magazine, and conferences. Regular face to face UK/China workshops. Joint further research grants between the two teams.
Start Year 2008
Organisation University of York
Department Department of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research developed a deep understanding in offering computation as a service. This was picked up by Cybula Ltd., a spin off from the group, and applied in this project, with the main project lead at York. The infrastrcture Cybula have set up as a result of this award is being used by my research group free of charge, and would not have happened without the project.
Collaborator Contribution Cybula are now offering the technology approach adopted in the project to the new project. They have built a dedicated server and obtained an innovate grant to link this to the university JANET network.
Impact The support of important research into treatment of rare illnesses, The infrastructure allows the project to deliver better results quicker.
Start Year 2014
Description The computer sheds 
Organisation The computer sheds
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The work in the research project digital creative hub is helping the computer sheds develop the awareness of the collection. The computer sheds contain the Jim Austin computer collection, one of the largest collection of computers in the world. Currently the biggest collection on show in Europe. However, the collection is not catalogued fully and not exposed to all the individuals that could benefit from it. We aim to use creative methods from the research project to both show the technology to a wide variety of individuals but also to monitor its impact. It contained some very unique machines that will be presented through creative technology to a wide audience.
Collaborator Contribution The sheds are providing the collection to the project and access to visitors, and experts.
Impact The funding has been recognised by the British computer Society computer conservation group and noted as being of great effect in the preservation of computer technology.
Start Year 2015
Title The Carmen platform 
Description The Carmen platform is a system that allows users to share software and data and run the software on the cloud. It is described in detail elsewhere. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed Yes
Impact The system is now used anime commercial projects with major international companies and research organizations. This is mainly through Cybula Ltd. Yorks spin off. The service has been transferred to the company data center and is being resurrected during 2017, on the company data center systems.
Title CROWN-C 
Description An advanced Grid/Cloud middleware system that incorporates functionality not seen in other competing systems, such as security routines (ATIR), Fault-tolerance (FT-Grid), and Fault-Injection (Grid-FIT). 
Type Of Technology Grid Application 
Year Produced 2008 
Impact Publication in IEEE Computer magazine (IEEE Computer Society's flagship magazine) Deployed in a number of companies across China 
Title E3DC 
Description Data Centre Infrastructure Management software capable of analysing non-physical data centre behaviour and visualising trends within a web-based interface. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact Development of a University spin-out company. 
Description General Chair IEEE HASE 2016, 2017 (High Assurance System Engineering) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact General Chair, and Steering Committee Member
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://conf.laas.fr/HASE2016/
Description Steering Committee Member IEEE SOSE 2015, 2016, 2017; and General co-Chair IEEE SOSE 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference general co-chair, and steering committee member
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://sose2015.com/