BeSTGRID is funded from early 2009 to June 2010 from the Ministry of Research Science & Technology eResearch budget, to further evolve eResearch infrastructure in New Zealand, including specialised applications and services for both Geo and Bio sciences, and lower levels of middleware. The project will publish several reports defining plans for implementation of these applications, services, and middleware, along with a final report to outline the current and possible future eResearch infrastructure strategies. This site contains all of the technical documentation relating to the BeSTGRID project, please see the main BeSTGRID Website for information about the project and getting started.
Review our Frequently Asked Questions, or use our Search, on the left hand side of the site, to find what you're looking for.
See our Getting started page on our main website to start using BeSTGRID services and tools
BeSTGRID started in 2006 as a Tertiary Education Commission Innovation and Development Fund Project 2006-2008, focused on how to create an eResearch (What is eResearch?) ecosystem for New Zealand. This initial project completed successfully in March 2008. BeSTGRID carried on as a collegial community, providing leadership and coordinating operations of research infrastructure in New Zealand.
- Capture, storage and sharing of data - Data theme
- Computational processing, analysis and presentation of that data - Computation theme
- Multi-discipline, multi-modal collaboration - Collaboration theme
- Associate Institutions
- Victoria University of Wellington
- Auckland University of Technology
- Otago University
- Lincoln University
- Waikato University
- Landcare Research
 15 min Video Summary
A recorded 15min presentation by Paul Bonnington given at the KAREN “Building Communities for Collaboration” Conference early in July 2007 about the BeSTGRID project. It highlights some of the services and demonstrates how one can engage with the computational GRID.
The KAREN network is providing key infrastructure to enable the development of GRIDs* that support scientific research in New Zealand.
BeSTGRID started as a project (Broadband enabled Science and Technology GRID) based collaboration between Auckland, Massey and Canterbury universities tasked with building three core GRIDs that together form a new platform for research collaboration in New Zealand:
- Collaboration tools for enhancing collaboration amongst participants in multiple locations with video-conferencing, shared whiteboards and presentations, visualization tools and project-based online communities,
- Data tools and services which allow large amounts of data to be stored and made available in other locations, and
- Computational GRID which allows for the sharing of high-performance computational resources, initially between Auckland, Massey and Canterbury.
“A great deal of scientific research is now computational involving large amounts of data”, says Associate Professor Paul Bonnington, Inaugural Director of BeSTGRID and now Director of eResearch, Monash University in Melbourne.
“It is based on simulations or data-matching which use large amounts of computer space and time. The plan is to link some of the computational resources of three universities so that they appear to be one big virtual computer with seamless access to the scientific data located across the universities, and tools that facilitate collaboration.”
 What are GRIDs?
A GRID “coordinates resources that are not subject to centralized control using standard, open, general-purpose protocols and Interfaces to deliver nontrivial qualities of service.” (Ian Foster)
GRIDs are based on applying the resources of many computers in a network to a single problem at the same time. GRIDs may be used to store large amounts of data across different locations but accessible to each. They may be used for sharing computational resources, or for access, for example through video conferencing.
A well-known example of a computational GRID in the public domain is the ongoing SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) @Home project in which thousands of people are sharing the unused processor cycles of their PCs in the vast search for signs of "rational" signals from outer space. Enabling GRIDs for Research
The functionality of GRIDs in New Zealand will be markedly improved with the introduction of KAREN, making them more suitable to scientific research through allowing research scientists to participate in virtual research communities (known as collaboratories), working together simultaneously, and sharing information on multiple screens.
Currently most GRID deployments face serious data scalability and latency issues leading to increased GRID processing times and low CPU utilisation. It is KAREN’s high bandwidth (allowing large data transfers) and low latency (making real time collaboration and conferencing possible) that enable GRIDs to work more effectively.