http://www.dagstuhl.de/04451

01. – 05. November 2004, Dagstuhl Seminar 04451

Future Generation Grids - FGG 2004

Organisatoren

Michel Cosnard (INRIA Sophia Antipolis – Méditerranée, FR)
Vladimir S. Getov (University of Westminder. – London, GB)
Domenico Laforenza (CNR – Pisa, IT)
Alexander Reinefeld (Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum – Berlin, DE)

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Summary

The Internet and the Web have had a major impact on society. By allowing us to discover and access information on a global scale, they have created entirely new businesses and brought new meaning to the term "surf". Yet, simply being able to offer and access information on the Web is ultimately unsatisfactory: We want processing and, increasingly, we want collaborative processing within distributed teams. This need has led to the creation of the Grid - an infrastructure that enables us to share capabilities, integrate services and resources within and across enterprises, and allows active collaborations across distributed, multi-organizational environments. Powered by on-demand access to computer resources, seamless access to data, and dynamic composition ofdistributed services, the Grid promises to enable fundamentally new ways of interacting with our information technology infrastructure, of doing business, and practicing science. It represents perhaps the final step in the great disappearing act that will take computing out of our homes and machine rooms into the fabric of the society, where it will stand alongside telephone switches, power generators, and the other invisible technologies that drive the modern world. Future applications will not only use individual computer systems, but a large set of networked resources. This scenario of computational and data grids is attracting a lot of attention from application scientists as well as from computer scientists. In addition to the inherent complexity of current high-end systems, the sharing of resources and the transparency of the actual available resources introduce not only new research challenges but also a completely new vision and approaches to designing, building, and using future generation Grid systems.

Overview of the Seminar

The seminar brought together 45 scientists and researchers in the Grid area in an attempt to draw a clearer picture of future generation Grids and to identify the most challenging problems on the way to achieving the invisible information Grid ideas in our society. The participants came from France (12), Germany (10), Italy (8), Great Britain (5), The Netherlands (3), Belgium (1), Cyprus (1), Czech Republic (1), Poland (1), Spain (1), Switzerland (1), and the U.S.A. (1). This was the first seminar in a series of workshops planned by the juststarted EU Network of Excellence project CoreGRID the "European Research Network on Foundations, Software Infrastructures and Applications for large scale distributed, GRID and Peer-to-Peer Technologies". The CoreGRID Network of Excellence aims at strengthening and advancing scientific and technological excellence in the area of Grid and Peer-to-Peer technologies. To achieve this objective, the Network brings together a critical mass of well-established researchers (119 permanent researchers and 165 PhD students) from forty-two institutions, which have constructed an ambitious joint programme of activities. Additional impetus for the organization of the FGG-Seminar came from another EU project, the "ERA Pilot on a Coordinated Europe-Wide Initiative in Grid Research" (GridCoord). It targets at strengthening Europe’s position on grid research an its exploitation by overcoming the fragmentation and dispersion across the EU research programs. The FGG seminar helped in getting an overview on the various Grid initiatives and projects and thereby provided a good basis for drafting a compendium on Grid research programmes in major European states. Background information for the seminar came from the just recently published findings of a EU expert group on Next Generation Grids (http://www.cordis.lu/ist/grids/index.htm)

Results

The talks of the seminar were grouped into the broad topics middleware, software toolkits, Grid and peer-to-peer system architecture, data and information management, resource management, and scheduling. In an attempt to provide an overview on the status of the various national Grid Initiatives - a topic deemed important especially for the GridCoord project - the following Grid Initiatives were presented:

  • Grid.it (Italy)
  • D-Grid (Germany)
  • DAS-2 (The Netherlands)
  • SGIGrid (Poland)
  • UK e-Science (UK)
  • ACI GRID's Grid'5000 project (France)

While the general goal of establishing a national Grid for the benefit of science and research in the respective countries is similar, each of these initiatives puts an emphasis of slightly different aspects. Most apparent is perhaps the "virtual laboratories" approach in the Netherlands, the more experimental character of the French Grid 5000 project as part of the ACI GRID initiative and the strong trend towards the deployment of productive application scenarios in the UK e- Science initiative. However, it is difficult to summarize the subtle differences in the initiatives in this brief summary and therefore, a more detailed analysis must be left for the future. The discussion session on next generation Grid technologies focussed largely on the importance of making Grid systems "autonomic" in the sense that future Grid components shall be able to autonomously cope with failures without affecting the other "healthy" components. Even more emphasis was put on the discussion of the newly established Web Services Resources Framework (WSRF) versus the previous Open Grid Service Infrastructure (OGSI), Web Services, and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) in general.

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