The main goal of this IDGF tutorial is to provide an introduction into Desktop Grid computing; deployment of Desktop Grids, application development for the infrastructure, and connecting Desktop Grids to other scientific working environments, such as the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) or EUAsiaGrid.

Desktop Grids consist of otherwise unused computing resources, that are collected and made available for scientific applications. The infrastructure can also, for instance, consist of office machines in a university or computers in lecture rooms (local Desktop Grids). Other types of Desktop Grids can also harness unused computing time donated by citizens (volunteer Desktop Grids).

The Tutorial provides an introduction into Desktop Grids and shows how they can be installed and managed.

A large number of scientific applications from various fields are already available that have been ported to Desktop Grids, and that can be used immediately by the scientists. Other applications need to be adapted or ported to make efficient use of the computational power of the connected computers.

The Tutorial shows how applications can be made to run on a Desktop Grid with an efficient development methodology.

Desktop Grids can be connected to become part of the main Grid infrastructures (EGI) by applying the EDGeS Bridge technology.

The tutorial will provide basic information on the 3G Bridge technology for this purpose.

Targeted audience

  1. System administrators and IT managers who consider setting up a local or volunteer Desktop Grid.
  2. Scientists and application developers looking for ways to accelerate their simulations and other complex applications by using more computing power.
  3. NGI/EGI Grid operators who want to extend their services with more resources and are considering Desktop Grids.

Detailed Programme

09.00-10.30: Introduction into Desktop Grid computing

Desktop Grids consist of collections of computers, either from volunteers or from an organisation. What are the types of Desktop Grids? How do they fit in the EUAsiaGrid computational infrastructure and how do they compare to Cloud computing? Overview of Desktop Grid systems.

After this part of the tutorial, one knows the different types of Desktop Grids and their usability, and knows how Desktop Grids fit in the Distributed Computing landscape.

10.30-11.00: Coffee Break

11.00-12.30: Setting up and programming for Desktop Grids (Part I)

Installation of a basic BOINC or other Desktop Grids. Installation of the central server and client/worker machines. Virtualisation for rapid deployment.

Introduction into programming for Desktop Grids. What kind of parallel programmes do run? How to get them onto the Grid. Different kind of programming models and available APIs, such as DC-API, GenWrapper. Porting applications to the Grid using the EDGeS Application Development Methodology. Access of application by the end-users: WS-PGRADE portal.

After this part of the Tutorial one can set up a basic Desktop Grid and knows how to port and use an application onto a Desktop Grid.

12.30 – 14.00: Lunch

14.00 – 15.30: Setting up and programming for Desktop Grids (Part II)

Continue the previous part with hands-ons focusing on SZTAKI Desktop Grid technologies as WS-PGRADE portal.

15.30-16.00: Coffee Break

16.00-17.30: Extending EUAsiaGrid type of Grids with Desktop Grids

Desktop Grids can be a very useful extension of existing scientific working environments such as EUAsiaGrid Virtual Organisations. They can provide additional computational power for certain classes of applications. This part of the tutorial shows what needs to be done to get this to work including 3G Bridge details, roadmaps, best practices and the role of IDGF.

After this part of the tutorial, one knows how to embed computational resources from a Desktop Grid into a current scientific working environment.

17.30: Close



The IDGF tutorial is organised by the International Desktop Grid Federation (http://desktopgridfederation.eu) with support from the DEGISCO project. It is facilitated by ASGC.

Tutors from IDGF

Robert Lovas, DEGISCO project coordinator, MTA SZTAKI
Ad Emmen, DEGISCO dissemination manager, AlmereGrid
Tamas Kiss, DEGISCO application support leader, University of Westminster
Special guest tutor: Peter Kacsuk, EDGI project coordinator, MTA SZTAKI