Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The Annual W3C conference WWW2006 took place in Edinburgh, beginning Monday, May 22nd. With NeSC based colleagues, Gillian Law and Dave Berry, the GCN! team was well represented at this conference and you will see several pieces of commentary and reporting emerging on the site. The major theme of the conference was Semantic Web and the event was put together by the team from Southampton University, Professors Nigel Shadbolt; Wendy Hall and GCN! Competition Judge, David DeRoure.
It was a large conference attended by 1200 folks from all around the world and featured the great and the good from the field of the Web and Computing including: Sir Tim Berners-Lee; Professor Tony Hey, another friend of GCN!, now Senior VP for Technical Computing at Microsoft; and many others. There were several interesting sessions featuring Grid, Security, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Healthcare and so on. My key takeaways from the conference lay mainly on the importance of semantics in navigating the future web; the nature of collaboration between knowledge workers and how important it will become to define context (ontologies, taxonomies and semantics) if we are to be able to work together; the pervasiveness of security issues in the internet world - especially the newly discovered commercial antics of hackers (your money or your site's dead!) and the huge potential for web services if we can crack the code and allow discovery; governance and payment schemes to work. Take a look at the site for more.

Future of the Data Centre 2006

Completing an interesting sequence of recent events, I attended and spoke at the recent Infoconomy Future of the Data Centre (FoDC) conference in London on June 6th and 7th. I spoke on the emerging consensus for enterprise IT architecture, comprising Virtualised Infrastructure; Service Orientated Acrchitecture and Integrated Web Services. Leveraging thought processes accumulated from several sources over the past month or so. The most interesting and newer insights came from WWW2006 where the theme was most definitely, the Semantic Web, or Web 2.0, see my previous post, and a really interesting discussion with Andy Mulholland, CTO at Capgemini, who shared his thoughts regarding the evolution of computing infrastructures to support a web services based collaboration space between organisations. The talk is posted on the Grid Computing Now!, and at the Information Age FoDC websites. Comments very welcome.
Apart from my inputs at the beginning of the conference, I was delighted to hear further evidence for the key steps in developing the enterprise IT infrastructure of the future from colleagues who spoke of Virtualisation; Service Orientation and Utility computing during the first day.
The second day was primarily about practical IT issues, configurations for ease of management of knowledge workers; a lot about power provisioning and cooling issues to do with modern computing equipment in the data centre. By the way have you come across the Green Grid Alliance? This is an association of several IT industry suppliers who have taken up the challenge of reducing the power consumption of IT equipment.