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DCSC History

scientific illustration At the time when DCSC was established in 2001, there was a desperate need for rapidly establishing facilities that could provide computational resources to the SC research communities across Denmark. The strategy chosen for this was a distributed approach where decentralised facilities were established at the major universities. This has ensured that the cheapest possible solution has been used for each kind of research project, thus avoiding expensive, standard computer centres. Another advantage of this approach has been that the local centres are sufficiently small and specialized to the needs of their individual local research groups, so that the overheads, due to administration and operations costs, can be kept at a bare minimum.

The universities responded positively to the requirements of the SC research groups and have to a significant extent provided additional support. The co-funding from the universities has typically been on the order of 1:1, covering the costs for building computer rooms and operating expenses (electricity/cooling), in addition to salaries for system administrators. Due to the limited funding available to DCSC, this build-up of local facilities to a reasonable standard has taken 3-4 years. Because the average lifetime of computational hardware is also 3-4 years, the level of SC funding in Denmark, up until 2008, only allowed for maintenance of the present level of computational resources.

In 2003, the Danish Centre for Grid Computing (DCGC) was established based on a three year grant from the Ministry, ending in June 2007, hence it is no longer funded. This left Denmark as one of the very few European countries without a National Grid initiative (NGI), and with essentially no possibility of participating in European Grid cooperation at the national level. Within the framework of national ICT infrastructure, Denmark has a National Research and Education Network (NREN, called "Forskningsnettet") providing high grade fibre Internet capacity for research and education. Denmark also has an Electronic Research Library (DEF). However, these infrastructures are provided through there own organisations. These four organisations are seen to make up the totality of Danish ICT research infrastructure, of which two (DCSC and DCGC) are the focus of this grant application.

As of 1 January 2008 DCSC was granted a substantial grant from the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, allowing for, among other things, a large increase in the Danish SC spending. At the same time DCSC also merged with DCGC, thereby DCSC took over the responsibility for running the Danish National Grid Initiative (NGI).