Grid Computing Edges Into the Mainstream

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-07-02
 
 
 
The Globus Project Tuesday announced the official release of the Globus Toolkit 3.0 (GT3), which melds the worlds of grid computing and Web services and helps bring grid computing into more mainstream, commercial applications.

Globus officials said GT3 features the first broad-scale implementation of the Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI) 1.0. The Globus Project was instrumental in defining OGSI, which is part of the Global Grid Forums Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA). And while OGSA defines grid services, or Web services targeted to a specific thing, OGSI takes those services and sets forth core pieces of Web services functionality that Web services can use. From this, GT3 uses OGSI to deliver tools for monitoring resources; for Web services discovery, management and security; and for file transfer.

Grid computing is the practice of using computers in the way utilities use power grids—tapping the unused capacity of a vast array of linked systems. Users can then share compute power, databases and services online.

The Globus Project, which is leading the way in research for grid computing, is a joint effort between industry and academia. The project is based at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Southern Californias Information Sciences Institute and the University of Chicago.

Ian Foster, co-leader of the Globus Project and associate division director for mathematics and computer science at Argonne National Lab and professor of computer science at the University of Chicago, said the release of GT3 marks "the day grid computing began to come of age." He added, "GT3 provides the foundation for many new grid applications."

Other Globus Project partners include the UK e-Science program and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Globus Project sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, IBM, and Microsoft Corp.

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