Grid computing is a form of distributed computing. The grid is an infrastructure that bonds and unifies globally remote and diverse resources in order to provide computing support for a wide range of applications. Rajkumar Buyya, in his Grid FAQ, defines Grid [as] “a type of parallel and distributed system that enables the sharing, selection, and aggregation of geographically distributed "autonomous" resources dynamically at runtime depending on their availability, capability, performance, cost, and users' quality-of-service requirements.”
According to the the Grid Technology cookbook, retrieved 11:44, 17 June 2010 (UTC), “the most generally useful definition is that a grid consists of shared heterogeneous computing and data resources networked across administrative boundaries. Given such a definition, a grid can be thought of as both an access method and a platform, with grid middleware being the critical software that enables grid operation and ease-of-use. For a grid to function effectively, it is assumed that (a) hardware and software exists on each resource to support participation in a grid and, (b) agreements and policies exist among grid participants to support and define resource sharing.”
Wikipedia, retrieved 11:29, 17 June 2010 (UTC) defines grid computing as “the combination of computer resources from multiple administrative domains for a common goal. Grid computing (or the use of a computational grid) is applying the resources of many computers in a network to a single problem at the same time - usually to solve a scientific or technical problem that requires a great number of computer processing cycles or access to large amounts of data”.
Grid computing is popular in e-science, forms of research that often require huge computing power and collaboration between various data and computing services.
2 Essential characteristics of grids
According to Bote-Lorenzo (2003:2-3; 2004), the essential characteristics of grids are the following ones:
Parvin et al. (200?: 2-3) define grid toolkits (middle ware systems) trough four layers: fabric, core middleware, user-level middleware, and applications and portals layers:
GridCafé defines a grid architecture in the following way:
3 Main uses of grids
According to Bote-Lorenzo (2008:5ff; 2004), main uses of grids are:
- Distributed supercomputing support
- High-throughput computing support
- On-demand computing support
- Data-intensive computing support
- Collaborative computing support
- Multimedia computing support
4 Standards and tools
This section includes a small set of links. For more information, see:
- Grid Computing Info Centre (GRID Infoware), includes a large list of relevant grid technologies
- Grid computing (Wikipedia, as of June 2010 a bit outdated).
4.1 Some standards
- Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA), a classic middleware architecture designed to fit within a traditional three layer distributed systems model with an access layer, a services layer, and a resources layer.
- The GLUE specification is an information model for Grid entities described using the natural language and UML Class Diagrams. As a conceptual model, it is designed to be independent from the concrete data models adopted for its implementation.
- Various web services standards, for example WSRF (Wikipedia) and WS-Management (Wikipedia).
- Simple API for Grid Applications (SAGA), a high level API that addresses directly the need of application developers.
- [https://forge.gridforum.org/sf/projects/jsdl-wg Job Submission Description Language (JSDL).
- the full list of recommendation documents from OGF
4.2 Some tools
- Grid Middleware (toolkits)
- Taverna workbench (not a grid tool, but an e-science tool that can plug into grids)
- Research consortia and teams (some)
- myGrid, makers of the taverna workbench a popular e-science tool.
- Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE), EU project from 2002-2010 replaced by EGI.
- European Grid Infrastructure based on federation of individual National Grid Infrastructures.
- Open Science Grid (US)
- OpenGridForum (OGF) is an open community committed to driving the rapid evolution and adoption of applied distributed computing.
- D4Science-II (Data Infrastructures Ecosystem for Science, EU project ended 2010)
- Dissemination/propaganda sites
- GridTalk EU dissemination/propaganda site for grid computing projects.
- GridCafé, orginally created by CERN, the GridCafé explains grid computing in a simple and stimulating fashion.
- GriGuide, includes a good list of Grid projects, including articles that present these projects.
- International Science Grid this week, iSGTW is an international, weekly, on-line science-computing newsletter that shows the importance of distributed computing, cloud computing and supercomputing.
- GridCast, Blogging behind the scenes of Grid computing.
- Overviews and introductions
- Grid computing
- Feature - Grid makes drug discovery crystal clear (example article from International Science Grid this Week).
- The Grid Technology cookbook, Southeastern Universities Research Association
Asadzadeh, Parvin; Rajkumar Buyya, Chun Ling Kei, Deepa Nayar, and Srikumar Venugopal, Global Grids and Software Toolkits: A Study of Four Grid Middleware Technologies, High Performance Computing: Paradigm and Infrastructure, Laurence Yang and Minyi Guo (eds), pp.431-458 (Chapter 22), ISBN: 0-471-65471-X, Wiley Press, New Jersey, USA, June 2005. PDF Preprint
- Bote-Lorenzo, Miguel L.; Yannis A. Dimitriadis and Eduardo G. Gómez-Sanchez, (2003). Preprint to appear in School of Telecommunications Engineering, University of Valladolid. PDF, retrieved 12:28, 21 April 2008 (UTC).
- Bote-Lorenzo, M.L., Dimitriadis, Y., Gómez-Sánchez (2004), E. Grid characteristics and uses: a grid definition (Postproceedings extended and revised version) Proceedings of the First European Across Grids Conference, ACG'03, Springer-Verlag, LNCS 2970, 291-298, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, February 2004. PDF, retrieved 12:28, 21 April 2008 (UTC).
- Bote-Lorenzo, M.L., Gómez-Sánchez, E., Vega-Gorgojo, G., Dimitriadis, Y., Asensio-Pérez, J.I., Jorrín-Abellán, I.M. Gridcole: a tailorable grid service based system that supports scripted collaborative learning (2007, in press) Computers & Education, retrieved 12:28, 21 April 2008 (UTC).