Grid computing – the next phase of distributed computing Grid computing is increasingly being viewed as the next phase of distributed computing. Built on pervasive Internet standards, grid computing enables organizations to share computing and information resources across department and organizational boundaries in a secure, highly efficient manner. Organizations around the world are utilizing grid computing today in such diverse areas as collaborative scientific research, drug discovery, financial risk analysis, and product design. Grid computing enables research-oriented organizations to solve problems that were infeasible due to computing and data-integration constraints. Grids also reduce costs through automation and improved IT resource utilization. Finally, grid computing can increase an organization’s agility, enabling more efficient business processes and greater responsiveness to change. Over time grid computing will enable a more flexible, efficient and utility-like global computing infrastructure. The key to realizing the benefits of grid computing is standardization, so that the diverse resources that make up a modern computing environment can be discovered, accessed, allocated, monitored, and in general managed as a single virtual system—even when provided by different vendors and/or operated by different organizations. Standardization of grid computing is being lead by the Global Grid Forum (GGF). GGF has developed the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) and is working throughout the industry to champion this “architectural blueprint” and the associated specifications that will enable the pervasive adoption of grid computing for business and research worldwide. OGSA: The blueprint for industry standard grid computing Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) is the industry blueprint that enables information and resource sharing across departments and between organizations utilizing products from a variety of different vendors. It also serves as an integration point for collaboration between the various standards bodies engaged in delivering on the vision of industry-standard distributed computing. OGSA is based on an extensive set of use cases from research and industry. Use cases drive the definition and prioritization of OGSA services and help to document the rationale for architectural choices. For instance, a common use case within IT organizations today revolves around the migration toward a shared services and infrastructure model. Many organizations today deploy a series of IT “silos” mirroring the departmental structure of the organization. Each department may have dedicated resources (compute, application, network, storage) to automate specific functions such as finance, customer relationship management, supply chain or product design. This rigid model results in low IT resource utilization, serious information integration challenges, and high IT spending. In addition, some departments within an organization are increasingly being required to integrate with customers, suppliers and partners on collaborative research, design, supply chain optimization, and/or transaction initiatives in order to produce world-class products and deliver them efficiently in the marketplace. Therefore it must be possible to repurpose the IT infrastructure easily and efficiently to meet emerging business needs. With OGSA, organizations now have a blueprint for combining heterogeneous IT resources across multiple departments or between organizations utilizing open, industry standards. Adherence to OGSA ensures that information and resource sharing can occur across organizational silos utilizing a variety of vendor’s offerings. OGSA specifies eight categories of services, each of which is essential to coordinating the work of applications interacting with available resources in a shared, but secure environment. Infrastructure Services provide a uniform foundation for the services described in the remaining seven categories with standard methods of transporting, naming, managing, and describing internet-based services. For instance, grids use infrastructure services to enable communication between disparate computers, applications from different vendors and databases with different design characteristics, essentially removing proprietary barriers to distributed computing. Resource Management enables the monitoring, reservation, deployment, and configuration of grid resources according to quality of service requirements. Grids allow organizations to pool their departmental IT resources and make them available for efficient and dynamic use across the organization. Data Services move data where it is needed, manage replicated copies, run queries and updates, and transform data into new formats as needed. As a result, users or applications experience seamless access to their data regardless of physical location. Context Services define the circumstances under which the grid serves different customers; context services implement the "ploicy" of the grid. A grid can only serve multiple departments if the IT requirements of that department can be described in a way meaningful to that department's task. Context services describe the required resources and usage policies that each department requires to carry out its duties. Information Services provide efficient production of, and access to, information about the Grid and its resources. In the virtual world of grids, information about the availability or lack of availability, of a particular resource is critical. An infrastructure manager cannot effectively troubleshoot a grid without this valuable information. Self-Management Services support service-level attainment for a set of services (or resources) – with as much automation as possible, to reduce the costs and complexity of managing the system. These services make the concept of “on-demand” resources a reality by automating the allocation of additional storage or compute power to meet stated levels of service. Security Services enforce security policies within a (virtual) organization, promoting safe resource-sharing and appropriate authentication and authorization of users. Department management can be assured that their sensitive data is seen only by appropriate end-users, in spite of physical resource sharing between multiple departments. Execution Management Services manage compute tasks, including placement onto resources, provisioning of the resources, and maintenance of the task lifecycle. These services enable the complex workflows that modern-day organizations require for many of their compute tasks. OGSA, has emerged from the work of individuals from over 60 companies and as many research organizations - experts working shoulder-to-shoulder with commercial product designers and developers. OGSA version 1 is an informational document that provides an overview of the service categories required for grid deployment. A companion document of OGSA Use Cases is also available. The information contained in these documents is being used by related standards organizations, open source and packaged software vendors along with end-users of grids to ensure that they stay in sync with standardization efforts. OGSA version 1 will be refined further in version 2, scheduled for initial release in March of 2005. Both versions of OGSA are a product of the Global Grid Forum (GGF), the largest community of grid users and developers. GGF is comprised of thousands of individuals from hundreds of organizations leading the global standardization effort for grid computing. We encourage your involvement in the development of OGSA and the use of OGSA-based products. The back of this flyer contains contact information for the organizations supporting OGSA, including telephone numbers and email addresses that will put you directly in touch with key individuals responsible for OGSA’s propagation. [Sidebar] Use Cases At the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, grid computing is used in simulations and analysis to accelerate time-to-market for digital technology and biotechnology products. Royal Bank Insurance uses grid systems to reduce the time needed for certain actuarial calculations from 18 hours to 32 minutes. Monsanto is using grid computing for developing agricultural and chemical products and reporting a 10 percent cost saving over conventional processing architectures. Societe Generale uses grid computing systems to serve its European branches across the continent at lower cost, with increased efficiency, and most importantly for a bank, greater reliability of services. Charles Schwab uses grid computing to reduce the time it takes to deliver its services to customers. Typical is the reduction in time for one business process from four minutes to 15 seconds. Leading automakers – including Toyota, DaimlerChrysler, Nissan, Ford, BMW, and GM – all use grid computing to develop and virtually test new body designs and engineering features, dramatically shortening the car development lifecycle. Microsoft uses a massive network of PCs in a grid configuration to test its software applications during the development process and prior to sale. Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), like Everquest and Second Life, use grid computing to support thousands of players simultaneously, a feat that could not otherwise be economically accomplished.