S@M - Services@MediGRID

Service Grid for biomedical network research

The objective of Services@MediGRID is to lower the entry threshold for the utilisation of the grid computing infrastructure in the life sciences on the basis of the results of the initial project MediGRID. Together with high-level partners from the fields of industry and research, this will make an important contribution to the sustainability of the life science grid infrastructure.

An organisational and technical grid infrastructure was developed for life sciences by MediGRID during the initial D-GRID funding phase. As a project of the second funding phase, this will be enhanced by Services@MediGRID with components leading to commercial use. This will be carried out in close cooperation with Bayer Technology Services and c.a.r.u.s. IT AG. A key point of focus here will be the feasibility of billing services and business models.

A market for grid-based services is to be formed on the basis of the MediGRID infrastructure. To this end, the existing infrastructure will be enhanced with vertical components for technical accounting, condition management and generic billing. This will form the basis for the commercial use of grid applications in life sciences. The components will  create technically-oriented layers with vertical pervasiveness within the grid infrastructure. The MediGRID infrastructure is shown in figure 1 with the additional vertical layers from Services@MediGRID.

With the vertical services as the basis, the life sciences grid applications are to be structured so they can be provided to corresponding customers from the fields of academia and industry. In future, service level agreements between resource providers and consumers will guarantee the availability of the services offered.
The sustainability of the services offered will be reinforced through the creation of target group-oriented business models. These incorporate the user layer (which describes the overall objective), the value creation layer (which describes the value creation chain) and the capital layer, with concrete revenue and cost models.
The entry threshold for using the MediGRID infrastructure will be lowered by offering coaching for users. The need for optimised coaching has been evaluated. Coaching consists of three sub-levels: (levels were missing in the original document)

1.    Workshops as lectures
2.    Hands-on sessions with applicable examples
3.    Coaching as an accompanying process supporting grid users

As part of the accompanying coaching, users will receive support for adjusting applications to the grid environment. Experienced grid experts will be on hand for this.
New visualisation methods are required in order to keep up with the pace of development of medical imaging procedures and for the current efforts to display combinations of the various data. 3D visualisation is a solution that allows the increasing amount of data to be displayed in a more comprehensive way for researchers according to the abilities of human perception.

Within the context of Services@MediGRID, special BMBF funding investments were made at three locations: the University of Göttingen Medical Faculty, Chartité and the Zuse Institute in Berlin, as well as Bioquant and the Kirchhoff Institute of Physics in Heidelberg. In cooperation with MedInfoGRID (University of Magdeburg), visualisation resources were procured at these locations to cover the requirements for high-resolution, 3D visualisation in real-time for research in the field of life sciences. In addition to the visualisation compute resources, autostereoscopic displays are available in Göttingen and Berlin. These facilitate optimal 3D displays without the need for other accessories such as glasses. Initial applications are the Genome Browser by Dr. Tobias A. Knoch (BioQuant Centre/German Cancer Research Centre), Transcriptom by Jochen Hampe (Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital) and the Point of Care project by the UMG.