The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, held this year in San Jose, CA, included a panel entitled “From the Grid to the Cloud: Computing for Big (and Small) Science” on Saturday, February 14 .
During this panel, experts from Europe and the U.S. across biotechnology, biological sciences, nuclear and particle physics discussed how the sharing of data and resources increasingly drives science on both sides of the Atlantic. Discussions including lively involvement of the audience touched upon issues of trust, security, and data sharing in an age where Facebook and National Security Agency (NSA) make privacy seem a quaint concept.
Other topics discussed included the future of academic computing in light of large-scale sharing infrastructures like the Open Science Grid and seemingly infinitely sized commercial cloud platforms. Niklas Blomberg, from ELIXIR, reported on “Enabling European-Wide Sharing of Data in the Life Sciences” given a compartmentalized resource and regulatory landscape across Europe. Davide Salomoni, from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, explained the goals of a recently funded cloud project in terms of providing a services rather than a resource infrastructure. Frank Wuerthwein, OSG executive director, focused on how the very paradigm of distributed computing helps to increase human productivity in collaborative efforts where human resources and knowledge are heavily distributed.
~ Frank Wuerthwein