Purdue's DiaGrid is a top 100 information technology development for 2009

December 11, 2009

The DiaGrid project operated by ITaP has been selected by IDG’s InfoWorld as one of the top 100 information technology projects of 2009 in its InfoWorld 100 Awards. IDG is a major publisher of computer and information technology magazines and Web sites, including InfoWorld.

DiaGrid, which provides computing power equivalent to a $3 million supercomputer, is a ready and readily available computational resource for a variety of purposes in research and the classroom, including distributed rendering of high-end graphics and animation, says John Campbell, associate vice president in charge of research computing for ITaP.

“DiaGrid allows institutions to maximize their technology investments while supporting the diverse needs of faculty,” says Campbell.

Faculty members can get a free account on DiaGrid by emailing: rcac-help@purdue.edu.

The annual InfoWorld 100 Awards recognize the 100 most innovative, creative uses of information technology initiatives to meet organization business and technical objectives. This year, there also was an emphasis on advances that help cope with tight budgets amid economic uncertainty.

“This year’s recipients of InfoWorld’s highest honor are shining examples of IT projects undertaken by tech leaders committed to pushing their organizations forward,” says Jason Snyder, features editor at InfoWorld.

Earlier this year, Campus Technology Magazine selected DiaGrid for a 2009 international Campus Technology Innovators Award.

Researchers at Purdue and elsewhere have used DiaGrid for purposes such as imaging the structure of viruses at near-atomic resolutions, the better to develop new ways of battling viral illnesses ranging from swine flu and the common cold to West Nile virus and AIDS.

The distributed computing pool also has been used to understand the Solar System’s formation; project the reliability of Indiana’s electrical supply; and model the spread of water pollutants to develop best practices for ensuring water quality and availability, among other things. Computers in DiaGrid also serve the TeraGrid user community for their high throughput computing needs.

DiaGrid works by pooling computers over the Purdue campus network and off campus via the Internet and fast research networks. Whenever computers in the pool are idle—at night, when their owners are at lunch and otherwise—the system sends work to them. When computer owners need their computers, jobs in progress automatically get shifted to other machines. The variety of hardware in DiaGrid, which now incorporates nearly 30,000 processors at Purdue and partner campuses, includes computers in student computer labs, offices, server rooms and supercomputing clusters.

More information:

http://www.dia-grid.org

http://infoworld.com/t/it-management/top-100-it-projects-2009-860

Writer: Greg Kline, science and technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8167, gkline@purdue.edu

Source: John Campbell, (765) 494-1289, john-campbell@purdue.edu

Originally posted: December 11, 2009