Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Getting To GRIPs With Grid Interoperability


Grid computing is one of the hot topics in distributed computing. Using a Grid of computers, located around the world, it is possible to carry out truly massive calculations. To achieve this requires a high level of interoperability between computer systems. Addressing this is IST project GRIP. Its system will be used to enable the European Weather services to share resources and allow applications the resources for which are beyond the capabilities of a single service.

Grid computing is one of the hot topics in distributed computing. Using a Grid of computers, located around the world, it is possible to carry out truly massive calculations. To achieve this requires a high level of interoperability between computer systems. Addressing this is IST project GRIP. Its system will be used to enable the European Weather services to share resources and allow applications the resources for which are beyond the capabilities of a single service.

"Grid computing is about defining and prototyping standards that enable the sharing of distributed resources, such as remote data, remote computer applications, remote instruments, output media, and so on," says Dietmar Erwin, GRIP project coordinator, from Germany’s Zentralinstitut für Angewandte Mathematik (ZAM) at the Research Centre Jülich. "To access these resources on a particular system, however, may require detailed specific knowledge of that system, and the next system may require an entirely different knowledge set." There is an obvious need for standardisation in this area.

A lot of development work has already been carried out on various software solutions. In the United States, a toolkit has been developed, called Globus, that enables application developers and middleware developers to use the Grid, and its resources, in a consistent way. "You can visualise this as a kind of horizontal approach," adds Erwin, "which covers the areas that have to be addressed. It provides application programming interfaces [APIs] to high-level services that will make use of Globus program calls."

In Germany a different approach was taken called UNICORE (UNiform Interface to COmputing Resources). It’s a vertically-integrated Grid system that starts with the user’s desktop and a graphical interface. It enables the user to formulate complex computational problems that may involve many computers at many different sites. UNICORE has many high-level features, such as the control of repetitive jobs and error handling. "You can define your computational tasks, submit them to the Grid for execution and monitor their progress - without having to sit at a particular console on each of the systems," explains Erwin.

Searching for molecules

"The idea behind GRIP was to combine the advantages of the two Grid developments: the seamless access to resources of UNICORE and the wide support that already exists for Globus," says Erwin. "In the first year of the project, we successfully completed our objective of making Globus resources accessible from the UNICORE interface. This was done by extending some of the components within UNICORE and without having to modify Globus in any way. We demonstrated various applications in the meteorological field and molecular science applications. Our GRIP partners in Warsaw use GRIP for bio-molecular calculations and on a regular basis. Especially for CPMD (Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics), a graphical interface for performing certain molecular computations has been developed in UNICORE that even a novice can use. The point is that users are no longer constrained to using only locally available applications. So long as UNICORE or Globus have been installed, there is no difference in the user interface."

Complying with Open Grid Service Architecture

Part of the original GRIP plan included work to make UNICORE resources available from Globus, i.e. in the reverse direction. "This was an entirely logical and consistent objective, but then events overtook us," comments Erwin. "The Global Grid Forum started work on the definition of OGSA (Open Grid Service Architecture), so it became much more important to focus our resources on interoperability between UNICORE and Globus Toolkit 3. The latter is essentially Globus with an OGSA wrapper around it, and complies with the Open Grid Service Architecture. The OGSA standard is in the process of being defined, so obviously we were not able to complete the task within the original timeframe. The upshot of this modification to our original work programme is that we will be able to interface any UNICORE-based Grid system with any Globus- or an OGSA-based system."

The project strategy to make UNICORE OGSA-compliant has led to UNICORE’s selection as Grid middleware by the Japanese Grid Initiative at the Global Grid Forum (GGF7) in Tokyo last spring. The initiative plans to build an infrastructure making over a hundred Teraflops available for scientific applications.

Another high-profile use of the GRIP system will be to provide the framework for combining the computing resources of the European weather services for extended range and probability weather forecasts. The resources available to an individual service are insufficient to tackle such problems but by sharing their resources the community together will be able to provide better weather guidance.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>