The creation of an international Grid federation will help scientists from around the world access computers and information in over 50 countries and regions simply, securely and easily. The International Grid Trust Federation (IGTF) was established at the Global Grid Forum meeting which took place in Boston last week, and will bring together organizations representing Asia, the Americas and Europe- from Canada to China and from Portugal to Pakistan. Members of the federation provide systems allowing each scientist to identify him- or herself to any Grid resource in the world with just a single online identity in the form of a digital certificate.
“The goal is to provide scientists from around the world with seamless access to all the resources on the Grid.” explained Dr Neil Geddes, Director of e-Science at the CCLRC (www.clrc.ac.uk) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. “Reliably identifying grid users and their work is critical to the success of grid computing across the world. The formation of the IGTF is a huge step forward in agreeing mechanisms whereby users of one grid can seamlessly become users of all grids, thereby, unlocking the full potential of grid computing worldwide.”
IGTF is a federation of three so-called Policy Management Authorities, one covering the EU and beyond (www.eugridpma.org), one for the Americas (www.tagpma.org), and one for Asia-Pacific (www.apgridpma.org). Individual members are national certification authorities who issue digital certificates to scientists to enable them to use the Grid, international Grid collaborations who rely on the authorities for authenticating their scientists, and major infrastructure providers who rely on certificates for protecting their resources. These resources include over 40,000 computer processors and several petabytes of storage - equivalent to millions of DVDs. The federation today has 61 members and covers 50 countries and regions.
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