If you do any e-Science grid work, you will require a signed certificate from the UK e-Science Certification Authority (CA), which provides X.509 certificates for the UK e-Science community.
A certificate enables authenticated use of disparate grid computing infrastructure over the internet, where trust and security are of prime importance.
A certificate is a container for a public encryption key which is ultimately signed. Signing is where a trusted authority uses public/private key encryption in the opposite way, making a mark on a certificate with a private key that can only be verified using the corresponding public key. On top of this, if the certificate changes in the slightest, verification will also fail. This adds a chain of trust.
The Certification Authority instructions to get an e-certificate are:
- Read the CA User Documentation
- Identify your local Registration Authority (RA). If you are a researcher here at the University of Bath, then you should contact your local IT support, who should be able to put you in touch with our resident RA.
- Import the CA root certificate into your browser or by going to the CA Web Interface and navigating to: CA Info > Get CA certificate
- Apply for a certificate by going to the CA Web Interface and selecting Request a Certificate choosing your RA from Step 2
- Visit your RA in person with your photo ID to have your request authorized
- Go to the CA Web Interface and import your new certificate into the same browser you used in Step 4
- Read the documentation about caring for your new digital certificate. This should have been given to you by your RA. Alternatively it can be found here.
- If you need to export your certificate (to use with other tools than your browser), then read about how to export your certificate and key from the browser.
The Research Councils UK introductory page, About the UK e-Science Programme, gives some examples of the application of grid computing:
About the UK e-Science Programme?
The UK e-Science Programme began in 2001 as a coordinated initiative involving all the Research Councils and the then Department of Trade and Industry. The e‑Science Core Programme, managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council on behalf of the communities of all the Research Councils, has supported the development of generic technologies, such as the software known as middleware that is needed to enable very different resources to work together seamlessly across networks and create computing grids. Each Research Council has funded its own e-Science activities to develop techniques and demonstrate their use across a broad range of research and applications.
For examples of ground-breaking research enabled by the Programme go to achievements and press releases under news. To view details of each Research Councils' e-Science Programme, follow the links below.
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
"e-Science is about global collaboration in key areas of science, and the next generation of infrastructure that will enable it."
"e-Science will change the dynamic of the way science is undertaken."
Director General of Research Councils, Office of Science and Technology
InfoPortal the e-Science Community InfoPortal
"The UK Grid Operations Support Centre is a distributed 'virtual centre' providing deployment and operations support for the UK e-Science programme. The centre is led and coordinated by CCLRC in collaboration with the University of Manchester and also include the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh and the White Rose Grid at the University of Leeds."
- Science Grid This Week
"works to inform the grid community and interested public about the people and projects involved in U.S. grid computing and the science that relies on it through articles, graphics, links, statistics, and calendar items. SGTW is produced at Fermilab, edited by Katie Yurkewicz and jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy's Office of Science."
Science Grid This Week newsletter is jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy's Office of Science (see About SGW for more details and subscribe here).
- e-Science & e-Computing links