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Advanced Computing and e-Science

Advanced Computing and e-Science

This group started its activity in 2000 to promote a research e-infrastructure at IFCA integrated and relevant at international level. 

The middleware framework used has evolved from Grid computing towards Cloud.

The group has setup a first level computing infrastructure at national range, with visibility at international level, and participation in numerous international projects: 
-FPV CrossGrid
-FP6 "Interactive European Grid" (as Coordinator)
-FP6 EGEE project, EGI-Inspire
-FP7 DORII and Coopeus projects
-deployment of a Tier-2 center for CMS (LHC),within WLCG.
-setup of the ALTAMIRA supercomputer (in top500) at the University of Cantabria. 
-H2020 EGI_Engage (ongoing)
-H2020 INDIGO-DataCloud (ongoing)
-H2020 AARC2 (starting may 2017)

The group has open new lines of activities in the last years: integration of instrumentation in the distributed computing framework, support to multidisciplinary applications, integration of solutions in the cloud platform, knowledge preservation.

It is currently involved in two H2020 projects (EGI-Engage and INDIGO-Datacloud) and an ESFRI (LifeWatch).

The global objective of the group is to make a relevant contribution in Data Science in analytics, engineering and open data, in different science fields, and in particular in interdisciplinary applications , profiting of the computational resources available. 

Scientific objectives:
-contribute to the the analysis of large data volumes, like CMS experiment at LHC, using Big Data techniques.
 -integrate the different components for applications in environmental science, from sensors and data taking up to simulation and modeling, participating in projects at national and international level (EGI-Engage, INDIGO-DataCloud, LifeWatch ESFRI, European Open Science Cloud). 
-participation in extremely large  simulations in a realistic context for complex systems, like those proposed in initiatives like FET in H2020. 

Technical objectives:
-mantain and improve the computing infrastructure managed by the group, currently including a supercomputer, several clusters, an storage system with a capacity above 1 Petabyte, and an archiving system with an equivalent capacity, and assure its exploitation in demanding and outstanding projects at national and international level. 
-develop a complete support chain to Data Management, from data acquisition to preservation. 
-develop new simulation techniques using new technologies based in agents and noSQL DBMS. 
-study the scalability of these techniques in the HPC context, for supercomputers, Grid systems, Cloud and clusters.               


Grid computing is a technology that allows in principle an integration of resources transparent to the final user, using digital certificates to access distributed resources in the authorization framework of what is known as a virtual organization. 

The research line on “Advanced Computing and e-Science” at IFCA started around 2002 due to the requirements from different projects for support for simulation and data processing within large international collaborations, like CMS at LHC or ESA Planck mission. 

The necessity to further develop the Grid technology  motivated our initial research work in European projects like CrossGrid and DataGrid, where the first test-beds across whole Europe where setup. The participation of the group in the series of EGEE projects between 2004-2010 has assured a proper infrastructure support to our users.

One of our more active research projects is the development of middleware to support for parallel execution using the MPI protocol, and for interactive work. This was the objective of the Interactive European Grid project that we proposed and coordinated together with another twelve first line European centres, and has its continuation in the framework of ES-NGI and EGI.

We also extended our experience in Particle Physics and Astrophysics to new application domains: design of fusion reactor prototypes, modelling the flow in the atmosphere to understand pollution problems, simulation of the evolution of water resources, integration of remote instrumentation, or support to biodiversity and ecological models.

In the last years we have evolved towards Cloud computing. IFCA supports the FedCloud infrastructure, participates in the EGI-Engage and INDIGO-DataCloud H2020 projects. IFCA expertise includes support to IaaS based on OpenStack, and on PaaS tools.


The necessity for a stable framework regarding Grid infrastructures across Europe has led to the creation of the so called National Grid Initiatives. These are national level contact points with the mission of coordinating and promoting the usage of distributed computing infrastructures. The union of all the NGIs constitutes the European Grid Initiative, EGI.  

We at IFCA coordinate the activity of the Spanish National Grid Initiative, ES-NGI, and represent the spanish grid community in the framework of the European Grid Initiative EGI.



Our centre is hosting a node in the Spanish Supercomputing Network, coordinated by the BSC centre in Barcelona. This fact contributed to our general interest on advanced computing techniques, including the mechanisms for their integration. You can find more information about the activities related to supercomputing at IFCA here.

Our team has developed joint solutions in different fields like:

- the TRUFA pipeline in genomics in collaboration with the MNCN

- Complete modelling of a water reservoir usin DELFT 3D in collaboration with ECOHYDROS (SME)




Group Projects

Group Members Computing and e-Science1 PERSONNEL PLASENCIAiscampos@ifca.unican.es942201343S115CSICAdvanced Computing and e-Science16 PROFESSORÁNDEZDEL CASTILLOmailto:enolfc@ifca.unican.es942206779S115+CSICAdvanced Computing and e-Science31 PERSONNEL Computing and e-Science94 PERSONNEL Computing and e-Science96 PERSONNELÓPEZGARCÍAaloga@ifca.unican.es942200969S114CSICAdvanced Computing and e-Science48 PERSONNELÚS E.MARCODE LUCASmailto:marco@ifca.unican.es942201458S116CSICAdvanced Computing and e-Science52 RESEARCH PROFESSOR ANGELNUÑEZ VEGAmailto:manunez@ifca.unican.es942200969S114CSICAdvanced Computing and e-Science63 PERSONNELÁNDEZmailto:orviz@ifca.unican.es942200969S114CSICAdvanced Computing and e-Science68 PERSONNEL Computing and e-Science95 PERSONNEL

Group Publications opportunities and trends for e-infrastructures and life sciences: Going beyond the grid to enable life science data analysis2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000ZFrontiers in GeneticsDuarte A. A user-friendly web server for de novo rna-seq analysis using cluster computing2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000ZEvolutionary BioinformaticsKornobis E. exploitation of a top 500 supercomputer for analysis of CMS data2014-01-01T00:00:00.0000000ZJournal of Physics: Conference SeriesCabrillo I.

  • Instituto de Física de Cantabria
    Edificio Juan Jordá
    Avenida de los Castros, s/n
    E-39005 Santander
    Cantabria, España

  • El Instituto de Física de Cantabria es un Centro Mixto del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas y de la Universidad de Cantabria.