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The Access Grid


Document sharing (exchanging files) PowerPoint. Application sharing (running the same program, ... enable remote participants to share and interact with data ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Access Grid

The Access Grid
  • May 25 2004
  • Jon Johansson
  • CNS Parallel Computing and Visualization
    Workshops 2004

  • Video Conferencing
  • What is a Computational Grid?
  • The Access Grid
  • What is the Grid in Access Grid?
  • Who develops the AG?
  • Who has AG nodes?
  • The Access Grid and WestGrid
  • Use of GSB 315
  • More Information

Video Conferencing
  • Video conferencing is a technology in which video
    and audio streams are transmitted among the
    various geographically separated participants in
    a meeting.
  • Typically this is done through a room which has
    been set up by a telephone company
  • booking the room also books an operator from the
    phone company to run the meeting for you

Video Conferencing
  • Video conferencing applications can also support
  • Text chat
  • Document sharing (exchanging files)
  • PowerPoint
  • Application sharing (running the same program,
    viewing at the same content)
  • frequently there is a way for any participant to
    control the program
  • Electronic white board everyone can view what
    someone writes and draws
  • The word Collaboration appears a lot in docs

Video Conferencing
  • Desktop (computer) videoconferencing can be done
    through applications such as
  • Netmeeting (Windows 2000 and XP)
  • Windows Messenger (Windows XP)
  • http//
  • MSN Messenger (Windows) - http//
  • iChat (Apple) - http//

Video Conferencing
Windows Messenger
  • Netmeeting

Video Conferencing
  • Can buy videoconferencing appliances that plug
    into your computer. They come with
  • camera
  • microphone
  • speaker
  • encoding of video and audio streams done in
  • software to drive it all
  • load on your PC for encoding is then quite small

Video Conferencing
  • Via Video II by PolyCom http//
  • ViGo by VCON http//

What is a Computational Grid?
  • We have heard about WestGrid, Western Canadas
    Computational Grid
  • A computational Grid is a large-scale computing
  • Constructed by linking computing facilities at
    many distributed locations
  • think of electric power grids

What is a Computational Grid?
  • Grid middleware is the software that actually
    enables a collection of computers to be used as a
    single resource
  • e..g. Globus - http//
  • It should provide
  • high-speed data movement
  • caching of large datasets
  • on-demand access to computing
  • Keep in mind that the ability to dynamically
    allocate resources in response to application
    requests for computational services remains a
    research project

The Access Grid
  • The Access Grid is an ensemble of resources
  • multimedia large-format displays
  • presentation and interactive environments
  • shared browsing and PowerPoint
  • interfaces to visualization environments
  • e.g. SGI vizserver
  • interfaces to Grid middleware
  • software for enabling computational Grids

The Access Grid
  • These resources are used to support
    group-to-group interactions across the Grid.
  • For example, the Access Grid is used for
  • large-scale distributed meetings
  • collaborative work sessions
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • training

The Access Grid
  • Features of the Access Grid are
  • Very high quality audio (once we have the bugs
  • Big display to enable full-size people shots and
    simultaneous viewing of all remote sites
  • Multiple cameras to show groups and multiple
  • Collaborative software to enable remote
    participants to share and interact with data
  • Usage of IP multicast, to enable
    bandwidth-efficient networking

The Access Grid
  • The inventors of Access Grid are aiming to build
    a technology that can support productive meetings
    between remote participants that are as effective
    as face-to-face meetings
  • Uses commodity hardware
  • Want to get to the point where users are able to
    forget the technology and concentrate on the
    meeting itself

What is the Grid in Access Grid?
  • The Access Grid is not a computational Grid
  • Relies on the existence of Grid infrastructure
  • AG needs steady data transfer (good network)
  • packet loss degrades the audio and video streams
  • poor audio can make the technology unusable
  • Uses Globus for authentication (one example of
    Grid middleware)
  • Each node must have a certificate from a Trusted
    Certificate Authority in order to connect to a
    Venue Server
  • Interesting definition
  • The Grid is the emerging computational and
    networking infrastructure designed to provide
    uniform access to data, computational resources
    and humans on an extremely heterogeneous wide
    area network.

Who develops the AG?
  • The AccessGrid technology was developed by the
    Futures Laboratory at Argonne National Laboratory
  • http//
  • http// ? (for Grid
  • AG is deployed through the National Computational
    Science Alliance (NCSA) PACI program
  • http//
  • The Futures Lab continues to conduct research
    into ways to improve the Access Grid, for
    example, to increase the scalability and to
    enhance the user interfaces.
  • Many research institutions have ongoing projects
    to improve usability and functionality of the
    Access Grid

Who has AG Nodes?
Access Grid room nodes exist in (at least) these
Ireland Italy Japan Korea The Netherlands Poland P
uerto Rico Russia
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • India

Singapore Slovak Republic Spain Switzerland
Taiwan Thailand United Kingdom United States
Access Grid and WestGrid
  • Each of the WestGrid institutions has an Access
    Grid node to
  • enable remote collaboration between the sites.
  • Simon Fraser University Todd Zimmerman
  • University of British Columbia Ritchie Argue
  • Triumf Andrew Daviel
  • Banff Centre Maria Lantin
  • University of Alberta Jon Johansson
  • University of Calgary Risto Treksler
  • University of Lethbridge David Hinger
  • Netera Adam Serendiuk

Use of GSB 315
  • GSB 315 is a general purpose room
  • Used heavily by members of CNS for meetings
    involving more than a few people
  • Our agreement is for the Access Grid to use a
    maximum of 40 of working time available in the
  • Access Grid node time is booked just like other
    meetings in GSB 315
  • Contact

More Information
  • The Access Grid home page
  • http//
  • WestGrid home page
  • http//
  • There is a link to WestGrid Access Grid
    information on this page
  • University of Alberta Access Grid
  • http//