Rutgers University libraries install Inferno Data Grid

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "Rutgers University libraries install Inferno Data Grid", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Rutgers University libraries install Inferno Data Grid

Vita Nuova has announced that Rutgers University libraries (NJ) have installed the Inferno Data Grid to help support the Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (CETH). The Inferno Data Grid will be used to support academics who wish to get access to large volumes of data relating to the classics and ancient philosophy.

CETH has a large number of original texts and translations relating to the works of Aristotle and other early philosophers. This data is located on a collection of Linux machines but is accessed by lecturers and researchers, for the main part, from Windows PCs. The Inferno Data Grid provides a single logical file system that can be explored by researchers. Files can be copied on to a researcher’s local machine for offline study. The grid also enables those with the right credentials to annotate existing files and add new files back into the data grid.

Brian Hancock, Digital Projects Librarian at CETH, says:

  • On the surface what we wanted to accomplish at CETH was simple: the ability to access file resources distributed across multiple machines, securely and intuitively. Until we discovered the Inferno Data Grid this was not a simple task. We are not computer scientists nor are the people we serve so it was important that the technology we chose would be simple and effective. We are very pleased with the outcome.

Michael Jeffrey CEO of Vita Nuova, which is based in York, says:

  • It has been very satisfying to collaborate with the CETH at Rutgers University to solve this interesting problem. Inferno’s model of representing all resources as names in a file-like hierarchy is ideal for use in data grids. We can provide users with a single logical view of a collection of data irrespective of where the data resides or on what platform. Should CETH wish to move their data from a Linux to a UNIX or Windows platform there will be no recoding required.

Vita Nuova’s Data and Computational Grid software is being used by a significant number of commercial organisations and universities. The Inferno Computational Grid software is being targeted at the life sciences and financial sectors, whilst the Data Grid has applicability to anyone who has large amounts of distributed data.

A collection of grid demonstrations is available on the Vita Nuova Web site ( that illustrate how Inferno can be used to access resources as varied as computation, services, data and devices that are distributed around the network. Inferno itself is free to download from the Vita Nuova Web site at:

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