Birds of a Feather Session: Access Grid

Date: Wednesday 20th September 2006, 17:00 - 19:00 Venue: Conference Room 4

Organiser: Michael Daw, University of Manchester

The Access Grid BOF will provide attendees with an opportunity for discussion on issues concerning the use of Access Grid within the e-Science community. Its aim will be to publicise recent developments in the Access Grid community, and to enhance the building of development and user communities. It will provide an opportunity to discuss current usage, new initiatives offered by the UK Access Grid Support Centre (AGSC), and future directions of this and related technologies. The intended audience will comprise of current and future users of Access Grid and related remote collaborative technology.

There are now over 80 Access Grid nodes registered throughout academia in the UK, with this number growing all the time through more widespread use by new communities, as well as growth in the population who already use it as part of their normal daily work. The technology, which began in the UK through deployment of 12 nodes at the e-Science National and Regional Centres, is used for meetings, seminars, research and for advanced collaborations, such as large-scale computational steering and discussion of data visualizations. The e-Science community is one of the largest users of this technology.

Earlier this year, the AGSC conducted a survey addressing concerns about the quality of collaboration experienced using this technology and has undergone a review of services offered to improve the user experience through increased quality and wider functionality. A major initiative is the rollout of a new booking system for UK Access Grid, due to go live on 6 September.

A major reworking of the media tools that underpin the open source Access Grid (VIC and RAT) is underway (known as the SUMOVER project) that should yield results in terms of reliability and improved features.

Improved features are also offered by major new releases of the commercial Access Grid software from inSORS (to be known as "IG2"), as well as of the open source Access Grid Toolkit (known as "AG3"). There are also a variety of developments underway throughout the global Access Grid community likely to be of great benefit to UK users.


17:00 Access Grid Quality Survey & New Services UpdateMichael Daw
17:20 Update on SUMOVER Project – Developing VIC & RAT Piers O'Hanlon, Peter Kirstein
17:40 New Developments in Access Grid Ian Dennell
18:00 Survey of the Audio/Video/Data Collaborative Software Market Nicolas Bertrand
18:20Open Discussion
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