A key government tech research body plans to give access to super computing research across 200 educational institutes in the country.

Garuda, an initiative by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) along with National Informatics Centre (NIC) plans to extend their ‘grid computing initiative’ from the existing 65 institutes to 200 in the next couple of years.

C-DAC’s grid computing initiative is a collection of high performance computing resources that are spread across different cities and allows access to super computing research.

Grid computing played a big role in the recent discovery of the ‘God particle’ as scientists across the world collaborated with each other.

Access to resources such as storage, IT networking and high end servers that can compute in excess of a trillion calculations per second, used in areas such as numerical weather simulations or drug discovery are provided by C-DAC. Due to high costs and maintenance of hardware and software, educational institutes could not afford to undertake research.

Typically, this would help in drug discovery, disaster management, aerospace engineering, weather prediction, e-learning, protein structure prediction amongst other research areas.

“Our objective is to provide and facilitate collaborative initiatives in Grid computing along with partners such as National Knowledge Network (NKN),” Mr Sarat Chandra Babu, Executive Director, C-DAC, said. For this initiative, C-DAC will be leveraging the NKN for 1 Gigabit network connectivity.

Any educational institute that wants to be a part of this initiative can bring in whatever technology it has and C-DAC will provide the required additional capability in line with the institute’s requirements. Additionally, C-DAC will provide a 10 Gigabit network, which is the most important part for high end research collaborative research.

Other issues such as security are managed by C-DAC. “Secured access is guaranteed through certificates signed by the Indian Grid Certification Authority,” said Dr Prahlada Rao, Joint Director, Systems Software Development, HPC, C-DAC.

According to C-DAC officials, Garuda played its part in the God particle discovery by providing certificates for Indian scientists who participated in the project.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 19, 2012)
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