MMSN -- Grid

The Molecular and Materials Structure Network seeks to exploit the emergence of e-Science and Grid computing, in building a collaborative network environment providing internet access to remote instrumentation. The same environment will host national database resources for the molecular and materials structure sciences, and provide powerful resources to interactively display, manipulate, analyse and discuss atomic structures (biological or chemical; discrete, polymeric, 'infinite lattice' or otherwise) across multiple monitors anywhere in the country.

The Grid is a concept that has evolved from cluster computing over the past decade, becoming particularly prominent as a potentially global revolution in computing following a publication in Nature by Ian Foster in December 2000. Essentially the Grid promises to seamlessly distribute and manage computations and data over participating computers that have unused computational or storage capacity. The underlying operating system or type or computer will be irrelevant, and the capacity of the Grid increases with the number of linked computer resources. The power, capacity and cost effectiveness offered by Grid computation and storage is being pursued particularly actively by the international particle physics community. The US is well advanced in developing its Science Grid (http://www.sciencegrid.org/), which is to link instrument facilities, data repositories and collaboratories, as is the UK and Europe.

ARC -- Australian Research Council