UoW Desktop Grid portal UoW Desktop Grid portal


The University of Westminster Local Desktop Grid connects laboratory PCs of the university into a BOINC based Desktop Grid infrastructure. The university is set over four main campuses and some additional smaller locations in Central- and North-West-London each of them offering a variable number of mainly windows based PCs for teaching purposes.

The University of Westminster Local Desktop Grid currently includes over 1500 registered machines. These machines are available for desktop grid computations whenever they are switched on but not utilised by students for teaching or other purposes.

The aim of the University of Westminster Desktop Grid Gateway (UoW DG Gateway) is to support computation intensive research and teaching applications at the University of Westminster, based on low cost local resources.The gateway is connected to the University of Westminster Local Desktop Grid (http://wgrass.wmin.ac.uk/index.php/Desktop_Grid:Westminster_Local_DG) as its supporting distributed computing infrastructure (DCI). This DCI utilises the free computing cycles of the University's laboratory PCs (over 1,8000 machines) in a BOINC-based desktop grid infrastructure. The major objective when developing and establishing the UoW DG Gateway was to provide a high level user-friendly interface for both students and researchers of the University to this powerful local infrastructure. The gateway is designed and planned to be used by diverse user communities in various application areas. Therefore, specialised custom made portlets are required to fulfil the requirements of each user community, as these requirements and targeted applications can be very different from each other.

The University of Westminster Desktop Grid Gateway currently supports two application areas: molecular docking simulations for bio-scientist students and researchers, and 3D animation rendering for computer animation and games students (with further applications planned to be supported in the future on demand). These two application groups are accessed via separate portlets. User accounts can also be configured in a way that a specific user sees only the set of portlets he/she is destined to use. This way all confusing details and configurations are hidden from the end users.




       This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 283481.

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