The European DataGrid (EDG)* project has taken a major step towards making the concept of a world-wide computing Grid a reality. Its latest release of middleware - the software that makes a Grid of computers work together seamlessly - will support production quality Grid computing. Markus Schulz, one of the chief software developers at CERN**, explains, "This release will take the EDG project from the laboratory bench into the real world".
One of the main aims of the European DataGrid project, which started almost two years ago, is to go beyond the R&D phase and demonstrate a "production quality" computing Grid. Production quality means not just a proof of principle, but the deployment of a stable resource that European scientists can plug into and use on a regular basis. Such a Grid should give scientists unprecedented computing power to tackle major challenges, such as modelling climate change or analysing genomic data.
The explicit goal of the EDG`s new release of Grid middleware, which was officially made on November 11th, is to support production quality Grid computing. It builds both on software previously developed in the EDG project as well as on established open source solutions. Starting from elements of a toolkit for Grid software development known as Globus 2.2, the new release has greatly improved support for large file transfers, offering better tracking of applications as they run on the Grid and a more stable information system. Several key features for production have been added, such as simplified access to mass storage systems, an easier software installation mechanism and user friendly job submission facilities.
Rosy Mondardini | alfa
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