December, 2008

Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

eScience & Technical Computing - Web Services and Scientific Research

December, 2008

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Interesting Papers from MSR – Nov 2008

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    Papers from the November 2008 drop Microsoft Research I found quite interesting.

    Txt-it Notes: Paper Based Text Messagingimage
    Stuart Taylor - November 2008

    Text messaging or SMS (Short Message Service) has be-come a ubiquitous form of communication, particularly amongst the younger generations. However, older members of society (and technophobes in general) are often excluded from communicating in this way. In an attempt to overcome this problem, and to try and help foster social relationships among family members, we have designed and implemented a paper based system for sending and receiving text messages. We describe the underlying technologies used, along with the design of the paper user interface, the simplicity of which allows the system to be used by young and old alike.

    Migrating enterprise storage to SSDs: analysis of tradeoffs
    Dushyanth Narayanan; Eno Thereska; Austin Donnelly; Sameh Elnikety; Antony Rowstron - November 2008 

    Recently, flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) have become standard options for laptop and desktop storage, but their impact on enterprises has not been studied. Provisioning enterprise storage is challenging. It requires optimizing for the performance, capacity, power and reliability needs of the expected workload, all while minimizing financial costs. This paper, through analysis of a number of enterprise workloads, provides insights as to when, and how, SSDs should be incorporated into the enterprise storage hierarchy. We describe an automated tool that, given device models and a block-level trace of a workload, determines the least-cost storage configuration. It analyzes the factors that drive the configuration choice, and computes the price points at which different SSD-based solutions will become cost-effective. Our optimization framework is flexible and can be used to design a range of storage hierarchies. When applied to current workloads and prices we find the following in a nutshell: for many enterprise workloads capacity dominates provisioning costs and the current per-gigabyte price of SSDs is between a factor of 3 and 3000 times higher than needed to be cost-effective for full replacement. We find that SSDs can provide some benefit as an intermediate tier for caching and write-ahead logging in a hybrid disk-SSD configuration. Surprisingly, the power savings achieved by SSDs are comparable to power savings from using low-power SATA disks.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    InfoMesa Project – Whiteboard for your data

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    One of neatest apps I’ve see lately is InfoMesa – a project by Sam Batterman – the example is InfoMesa allows any kind of data or visualization to be added to the Whiteboard. 

    The folks at RENCI are using it in their Social Computing Room (SCR) w/ a 360 degree desktop. 

    You can download the implementation and code and test it out.

    Download

    What is it?

    InfoMesa is a project to allow scientists to do more science and more discovery in a collaborative and data-rich environment. The metaphor that we have elected to use as the underlying fabric of the InfoMesa is a Whiteboard.

    InfoMesa allows any kind of data or visualization to be added to the Whiteboard. Far from static, these tools are interactive, allowing data to be absorbed from data sources like Oracle, SQL Server, Excel Spreadsheets, XML or even Cloud-based web services. InfoMesa, when complete will support imagery, video, 2D connected models, 3D models (lit in a photo realistically manner), web searches, results from web service calls, Image Tile Maps, ScatterPlots, Sticky Notes, Ink Notes, Rich Annotations and Associations.

    An Example of a typical InfoMesa Whiteboard is shown here:

    main

    Welcome to the InfoMesa Project - Official Launch - Windows Live

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Carole Goble receives 1st Jim Gray eScience award

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    Carole Goble wins first Jim Gray e-Science award

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    eScience Conference in Pictures

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    eScience_AutoCollage_16_Images_2Here’s some pictures from the Microsoft eScience Workshop.  AutoCollage makes it easy to do :-)

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Photosynth in Silverlight

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    Very neat to see a experimental Silverlight viewer for Photosynth.

    Here’s one synth I did while at SC08 of the MS Booth

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Document Interop – OpenXML to HTML

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    It’s good to see how the vision of the OpenXML document formats is being more fully realized, especially with the availability of tools from the Document Interoperability Initiative.  The latest ones being the Open XML Document Viewer that allows OpenXML to be viewed from HTML – it also includes a Firefox Plug-in that runs on Windows and Linux – so OpenXML documents can be viewed without having Office installed.  The Apache Software Foundation POI Java SDK for Open XML makes pure Java libraries available for reading and writing files in Open XML formats. 

    It will be great to see other document viewers and editors…plus I’m waiting for devices to automatically start outputting data into OpenXML format – say spreadsheet – then automatically analyze, chart the data when you open your favorite spreadsheet app.  Sure seems like a step forward from csv.

    More details:

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    eScience Unconference

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    Just finished up the Unconference event – bridging the Microsoft eScience Workshop and the IEEE e-Science Conference.  It was great fun  :-)

    We ended up with Demos and discussions…and I really appreciate all the folks that participated. 

    Demos on:

    Discussions on:

    • Clouds and/vs Grids
    • What is Provenance?
    • Spatio Temporal Sensitive environment applications.
    • Why do IT deployments fail in healthcare
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