21 Oct 2013 Madrid - During the recent EGI Technical Forum, held in Madrid, Spain, September 16-20, 2013, Primeur Magazine had the opportunity to talk to Robert Lovas, project co-ordinator of the International Desktop Grid Federation Support Project (IDGF-SP).
Robert Lovas explained that there are two types of Desktop Grids. The first type is hosted at an organisation, be it a company or a university, where it can call upon the spare capacities of the unutilized PCs and serve the scientific community of that organisation. The second type is the voluntary Desktop Grid built out of the unutilized capacity of volunteers' computers which is offered to scientific purposes. The IDGF-SP project supports both types of Desktop Grids.
IDGF-SP's main goal is to engage more citizens with this technology as to retrieve more computational capacity from the participating citizens. IDGF-SP also wants to promote this technology among the scientific communities and to identify more user communities who are able to use the Desktop Grid resources.
At the EGI Technical Forum, Robert Lovas and his partners aimed at establishing a virtual team to promote the technology among the European scientists.
IDGF-SP has succeeded in attracting more user communities around the world. For example in the Russian Federation, in Dubna, a new installation has been set up to serve the user community of the Joint Research Institute for Nuclear Research.
The project has seven partners, including two universities. The University of Westminster in the United Kingdom has a long running experience with local Desktop Grids. The University of Leiden in The Netherlands has an application in the field of mathematics. Two companies are taking care of the project's sustainability. Charity Engine from the United Kingdom introduced an interesting business model. Sony Research Lab in Paris, France is responsible for the green issues which are gaining more and more importance, given the emergence of hand-held devices and mobile phones.
In conclusion IDGF-SP's main objective is to increase the number of volunteers who donate their free computer cycles for scientific purposes. On the other hand IDGF-SP would like to see more scientists utilizing this type of computing infrastructures.
More information is available at the website of the International Desktop Grid Federation .