Lab Canada

New state-of-the-art research centre established in Alberta for grid computing

Calgary, AB – January 30, 2004 – A new facility supporting research into the management of grid computing is being established at the University of Calgary.

A rapidly emerging field of technology with widespread applications, grid computing can be used by health researchers to study diseases such as West Nile and SARS, pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs, the oil industry to study and predict oil reservoirs and scientists to study nanotechnology, chemistry, physics, biology and ecology.

The HP Grid Research Centre is being established through a partnership with Hewlett Packard and the government of Alberta.

“As a company dedicated to encouraging innovation and discovery in Canada, HP is extremely excited to be partnering with the University of Calgary and the Government of Alberta in this venture," says Paul Tsaparis, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard (Canada). "The Grid Research Centre will attract some of the world’s best researchers and play an essential role in furthering research that is reliant upon high-performance technical computing (HPTC) technologies.”

Mr Tsaparis adds that in addition to financial support, the company is placing an HP Labs researcher on-site at the university to collaborate with other scientists and researchers.

One problem often facing researchers is finding management tools to make grid-computing technology effective. The centre will help to solve this problem by researching and developing ways to measure and control the performance of the grid, to schedule computing and storage resources across multiple locations and to provide operational management of processor and storage clusters across wide areas. These management tools are a critical component to make grid networks accessible and effective for diverse research projects and for further commercial applications of grid technology.

The estimated value of the partnership project is C$2.8 million. Under the agreement, the Alberta government and the University of Calgary (Telesim Project) will each contribute $300,000 in one-time funding and the University of Calgary will also provide $120,000 worth of in-kind contributions. Hewlett Packard has agreed to provide $514,000 in cash and in-kind contributions (equipment and services) over three years. Other partners in the project include BigBangwidth Ltd., WestGrid and Netera Alliance.