We are delighted to announce that JISC will continue to fund the National Grid Service (NGS) until 31 July 2012. This will allow the NGS to carry on supporting its broad user base across the UK and to strengthen their links into Europe and beyond. We will not only be able to support users but to also develop further the essential relationship that we have with our member institutions. This will include further roadshows and outreach activities at universities and research institutions that have a significant current or prospective user base, including current user experiences and training events for getting started..
During the coming period we will continue to actively work with large international projects with bases in the UK, for example ELIXIR, Lifewatch, SKA and CLARIN. We recently held two workshops to gather their ongoing e-infrastructure requirements, to ensure that the UK can support their ongoing needs and remain a leader in Europe.
Beginning in April 2011, the NGS moved to a new model of service. A new policy was introduced offering all NGS users a moderate allocation of compute resources for free, a lifeline for pump priming novel projects and for early career researchers who might otherwise struggle to receive resources directly from grants. The NGS has been working with larger projects and individuals with more significant requirements and can now offer competitively priced compute and data services through its partner sites.
This phase of the NGS also includes the availability of central services so that remote sites are able to easily monitor, account and control the user base for their services when these users come not only from their own institution but from collaborating institutions. These services are particularly targeted towards the larger national and international projects of which the UK is a significant partner.
David Wallom, Technical Director said “This extension is a further demonstration of the importance of a core research computing service available at a national level, supporting projects from the large international infrastructures through to the small single researcher activity. The NGS supports the federation of resources between institutions and the central services which are essential to avoid duplication of effort in larger projects.”
If you are interested in purchasing resources or services from the NGS, please contact the NGS helpdesk (firstname.lastname@example.org).