GRIDS, Databases and Information Systems Engineering Research

GRIDS, Databases and Information Systems Engineering Research
Keith G Jeffery
Director, IT and Head, Information Technology Department
CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Chilton, Didcot, OXON OX11 0QX UK
[email protected]
GRID technology, emerging in the late nineties, has evolved from a metacomputing
architecture towards a pervasive computation and information utility. However, the
architectural developments echo strongly the computational origins and information
systems engineering aspects have received scant attention. The development within
the GRID community of the W3C-inspired OGSA indicates a willingness to move in a
direction more suited to the wider end user requirements. In particular the
OGSA/DAI initiative provides a web-services level interface to databases. In contrast
to this stream of development, early architectural ideas for a more general GRIDs
environment articulated in UK in 1999 have recently been more widely accepted,
modified, evolved and enhanced by a group of experts working under the auspices of
the new EC DGINFSO F2 (GRIDs) Unit. The resulting report on ‘Next Generation
GRIDs’ was published in June 2003 and is released by the EC as an adjunct to the FP6
Call for Proposals Documentation. The report proposes the need for a wealth of
research in all aspects of information systems engineering, within which the topics of
advanced distributed parallel multimedia heterogeneous database systems with
greater representativity and expressivity have some prominence. Topics such as
metadata, security, trust, persistence, performance, scalability are all included. This
represents a huge opportunity for the database community, particularly in Europe.