|Sept. 24, 2001||
Press Contact: Steve Koppes|
$12 million Middleware Initiative will aid scientific discovery
National Science Foundation awards go to NCSA, ISI, University of Chicago, UCSD, University of Wisconsin, EDUCAUSE, SURA
A group of research centers from across the U.S. will work together on a $12 million project to develop middleware, software that allows scientists to share applications, scientific instruments and data, and collaborate with their colleagues across the Internet.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the program, called the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI). NMI will create and deploy advanced network services that will make it easier for researchers to access a wide range of resources available through high-performance networks. For example, they will be able to share scientific tools, such as telescopes or modeling software, access supercomputing systems and databases, and run simulations in real-time with colleagues across the country and around the world.
The effort will build on the success of the Globus project in developing middleware tools for grid computing, and will integrate Globus and other emerging middleware components into a well-tested, comprehensive, commercial-quality, middleware distribution package that runs on multiple platforms. These middleware distributions will be disseminated to research labs and universities worldwide. The Globus project is led by Carl Kesselman of the University of Southern California School of Engineering's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and Ian Foster of the University of Chicago.
Two groups will receive the awards. The GRIDS (Grids Research Integration Deployment and Support) Center will include ISI, Chicago, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. A second team formed by Internet2 will include EDUCAUSE and the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA).
"We believe that middleware and a comprehensive middleware infrastructure will be the key to creating a network infrastructure that can be used by the worldwide research community to share ideas, conduct research, and make new discoveries," said ISIs Carl Kesselman, "There is a world of resources and information out there, and we intend to bring it to the scientific community in a seamless manner, so that they can focus specifically on their research."
NCSAs Randy Butler compared the NMI and its expected impact to the original NSFnet, the high-performance network that first connected the NSF supercomputer centers in the 1980s. "NSFnet allowed researchers around the country to begin to build and strengthen collaborations because they could easily share information," said Butler. "NMI will allow researchers to go beyond simple information sharing and enable true virtual teaming."
Butler, Kesselman, and Chicagos Ian Foster will lead the GRIDS center. The center will have two main functions: developing and integrating the NMI architecture and packaging, testing, and supporting the NMI software distributions.
The Internet2 team will develop an NMI architecture that focuses on interrealm directories, security, and naming and will integrate these services into a variety of key applications, including desktop video. The team will also promote widespread, consistent, and rapid deployment of these technologies to the higher education and research communities.
"Much as the academic community was the proving ground for the Internet, so may this pioneering work foster a marketplace for middleware," said Ken Klingenstein, director of the Internet2 middleware initiative. "While the focus of the NMI is to support research and education, the consequences of this work could be far broader."
More information on the NMI is available at www.nsf-middleware.org/
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is the leading-edge site for the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance). NCSA is a leader in the development and deployment of cutting-edge high-performance computing, networking, and information technologies. The National Science Foundation, the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, industrial partners, and other federal agencies fund NCSA. The Alliance is a partnership to prototype an advanced computational infrastructure for the 21st century and includes more than 50 academic, government and industry research partners from across the United States.
Founded in 1972, the USC School of Engineering Information Sciences Institute is a leading world center for computer science research. One of the birthplaces of the Internet, it now provides top-level infrastructure and research services, and its hardware and software prototypes have been incorporated into thousands of commercial and public systems. For more information, please visit www.isi.edu.
Led by over 180 US universities, working with industry and government, Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships of academia, industry and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy. For more information about Internet2, see: http://www.internet2.edu/
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Membership is open to institutions of higher education, corporations serving the higher education information technology market, and other
related associations and organizations. EDUCAUSE programs include professional development activities, print and electronic publications, strategic policy initiatives, research, awards for leadership and exemplary practices, and a wealth of online information services. The current membership comprises more than 1,800 colleges, universities, and education organizations, including over 180 corporations. EDUCAUSE has offices in Boulder, CO, and Washington, D.C. Detailed information about membership and association programs and services is available through the EDUCAUSE Web site at http://www.educause.edu/.
The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) is a consortium of 59 universities in the Southern U.S. SURA serves as an entity through which colleges, universities, and other organizations may cooperate with one another and with government and other organizations in acquiring, developing, and using laboratories, machines, and other research facilities and in furthering knowledge in the physical, biological, and other natural sciences and engineering. SURA's regional leadership role in information technology includes the SURA Crossroads Initiative, a project to develop an optical networking infrastructure throughout the SURA region. More information about SURA is available at http://www.sura.org/
Globus (http://www.globus.org) is a project of Argonne and ISI
Condor (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/) is a project of the University of Wisconsin
Last modified at 04:07 PM CST on Monday, September 24, 2001.
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