Bristol University joins UK National Grid Service

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The University of Bristol has joined the UK National Grid Service (NGS) as an affiliate member to complement its recently opened High Performance Computing (HPC) facility.

Bristol has access to the NGS to develop its Grid computing resources and support to its research community. Demand for HPC resources at Bristol is booming and by joining the NGS, the university can provide its researchers with a direct route to freely available compute and data resources.

Dr Jon Wakelin, e-Research Systems specialist at Bristol, said: ‘Now that we have a clearer understanding of our researchers needs, it is right to invest time and effort into supporting additional computing resources complementary to the central HPC facility such as the NGS.’

Bristol aims to target the social science and humanities researchers who are often involved in statistical modelling and visualisation which is commonly more Windows based high throughput computing (HTC) rather than Linux based high performance computing (HPC).

Grid based resources such as those provided by the NGS are particularly effective at dealing with HTC jobs. The addition of NGS resources to Bristol’s existing HPC resources, with Grid and HTC based resources, such as departmental Condor pools will aid these researchers.

Ian Stewart, director of Advanced Research Computing, said: ‘The University has invested significant funds in the infrastructure that underpins the advanced computing requirements of our researchers. The University Condor flock is one example, and the collaborative opportunities afforded by affiliating this resource with the NGS provide additional value.’