December 4, 2009

8th Annual HPWREN Users Workshop held at the Palomar Observatory

The 8th Annual HPWREN Users Workshop was hosted by the Palomar Observatory on November 5, 2009.

Group photo by Scott Kardel at the November 5 2009 HPWREN Annual Users Workshop at the Palomar Observatory, taken besides the 200 inch Hale Telescope.

The main discussion topic of the morning session revolved about the sustainability of the HPWREN network beyond the next two years, once the current National Science Foundation grant runs out. Besides the immediate HPWREN users, leadership representatives of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) attended and participated as well.

A number of possibilities were discussed, among them a recharge model, where HPWREN users will get charged a certain amount of money for using the network. An open issue would be how to allow current users to continue to participate who do not have the additional resources for network support. The question arose as to how much the overall cost would increase by using this type of a model, both in terms of additional staff necessary to support a user-paid service, as well as the billing overhead.

Other possibilities discussed were additional proposal efforts that could result in more sustainable funding, perhaps supplemented by at least some of the users contributing in-kind, by their staff participating in HPWREN network related activities, something which in a variety of cases has already happend in the past as well.

Furthermore the individual directorates at NSF could be approached to see whether they would be interested to pool funds, given the cross-directorate nature of the HPWREN cyberinfrastructure. Also, other funding organizations or agencies could be approached.

A small working group, led by SDSC and Calit2, was established to work on these funding options, while seeking feedback from various constituents.

Available slides of morning presenters include those from Hans-Werner Braun, Ron Hawkins, and Susan Teel.

The afternoon session consisted of various participant presentations, to update the group on their projects. The relatively small number of presentations was due to the fact that the workshop was more targeted towards the sustainability discussions. Available presentations include those from Ron Serabia, Scott Wetzel, Susan Teel, and Tom Cook.

In addition, some HPWREN users who were unable to attend the workshop submitted presentations. Those included Erin Hunt and Yehuda Bock.

Main HPWREN web site (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)