Introduction to Grid Programming with the Globus Toolkit Version 3 - Michael Brown, IBM Linux Integration Center
Mr. Brown outlined a brief history of the Globus Project. Version 3 is entirely implemented in the Java language and is Open Source. Major contributors include, Argonne National Labs, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California, and Northern Illinois University. Sponsors include, DARPA (of some fame regarding the Internet itself), the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and NASA. Corporate supporters include, IBM, Microsoft, and Cisco.
According to Mr. Brown Grid Computing is really just a new word for distributed computing. There are five classes of grids, Computation, Data Virtualization, Business Intelligence, Analytics, and High Availability. Of course an organization may mix and match these models according to their own needs.
The Globus Tookit Version 3 (GT3) mandates that grid services are built with SOAP over HTTP. The groups involved in GT3 have a goal of creating a platform neutral, standards based techonology that is capable of heterogenous deployment.
The Global Grid Forum has developed two specifications, Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) and Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI). The goals of the organization are to provide a grid framework, leverage existing standards and create services that are heterogenous, dynamic, searchable, callable by any system on the grid, and independent of any implementation.
One cool outcome of the OGSI are stateful Web services. Normally Web services do not have state. In a grid environment state is important because services can be long-running, can be used in a chain of operations, and implementors need to be able to query, pause, and stop jobs. Another eyecatching feature of GT3 is the end to end security baked in on top of industry standards. GT3 employs message based security based on WS-Security and XML Signature at the SOAP level. Security can be per session or per message. It supports SSL and X.509 certificates and is based on the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS).
Mr. Brown demonstrated downloading GT3, installing and configuring. This is all greatly simplified and automated by the implementors. They even provide startup scripts for Windows and Linux (which work on Mac OSX also). GTK3 can run in Tomcat if you choose. Mike closed his talk by demonstrating an ad hoc grid set up with some of us in the audience that had wireless computers. We downloaded a Java client from his laptop, tweaked a shell script, and joined his grid. Very cool.
Colorado Software Summit 2003 - Wrap-up
Attendance at this year's summit reflected industry and government financial woes. There were less attendees than last year and the future of the conference is a little shaky at this time. If you're a Java programmer please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I'll be happy to let you know why the Colorado Software Summit is a great investment in your skill set and knowledge.