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Find out which technologies enable the Grid and how to employ them successfully!

This invaluable text provides a complete, clear, systematic, and practical understanding of the technologies that enable the Grid. The authors outline all the components necessary to create a Grid infrastructure that enables support for a range of wide-area distributed applications. The Grid: Core Technologies takes a pragmatic approach with numerous practical examples of software in context. It describes the middleware components of the Grid step-by-step, and gives hands-on advice on designing and building a Grid environment with the Globus Toolkit, as well as writing applications.

The Grid: Core Technologies:

  • Provides a solid and up-to-date introduction to the technologies that underpin the Grid.
  • Contains a systematic explanation of the Grid, including its infrastructure, basic services, job management, user interaction, and applications.
  • Explains in detail OGSA (Open Grid Services Architecture), Web Services technologies (SOAP, WSDL, UDDI), and Grid Monitoring.
  • Covers Web portal-based tools such as the Java CoG, GridPort, GridSphere, and JSR 168 Portlets.
  • Tackles hot topics such as WSRF (Web Services Resource Framework), the Semantic Grid, the Grid Security Infrastructure, and Workflow systems.
  • Offers practical examples to enhance the understanding and use of Grid components and the associated tools.

This rich resource will be essential reading for researchers and postgraduate students in computing and engineering departments, IT professionals in distributed computing, as well as Grid end users such as physicists, statisticians, biologists and chemists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It could serve as a good textbook and would certainly be a good addition to the reference libraries of technologists, academics, and students." (IEEE Distributed Systems Online, December 2006)

"…lots of valuable information." (Computing, May 11, 2006)

"…a complete, clear, systematic, and practical understanding of the technologies that enable the Grid." (IEEE Computer Magazine, August 2005)

"…a good addition to the reference library…" (IEEE DS Online, January 2007)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470094174
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/30/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 6.63 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Maozhen Li is currently Lecturer in Electronics and Computer Engineering, in the School of Engineering and Design at Brunel University, UK. From January 1999 to January 2002, he was Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science, Cardiff University, UK. Dr Li received his PhD degree in 1997, from the Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. His research interests are in the areas of Grid computing, problem-solving environments for large-scale simulations, software agents for semantic information retrieval, multi-modal user interface design and computer support for cooperative work. Since 1997, Dr Li has published 30 research papers in prestigious international journals and conferences.

Dr Mark Baker is a hardworking Reader in Distributed Systems at the University of Portsmouth. He also currently holds visiting chairs at the universities of Reading and Westminster. Mark has resided in the relative safety of academia since leaving the British Merchant, where he was a navigating officer, in the early 1980s. Mark has held posts at various universities, including Cardiff, Edinburgh and Syracuse. He has a number of geek-like interests, which his research group at Portsmouth help him pursue. These include wide-area resource monitoring, messaging systems for parallel and wide-area applications, middleware such as information and security services, as well as performance evaluation and modelling of computer systems.
Mark’s non-academic interests include squash (getting too old), DIY (he may one day finish his house off), reading (far too many science fiction books), keeping the garden ship-shape and a beer or two to reduce the pain of the aforementioned activities.

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Read an Excerpt

The Grid

Core Technologies
By Maozhen Li Mark Baker

John Wiley & Sons

Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-470-09417-6

Chapter One

An Introduction to the Grid


The Grid concepts and technologies are all very new, first expressed by Foster and Kesselman in 1998. Before this, efforts to orchestrate wide-area distributed resources were known as metacomputing. Even so, whichever date we use to identify when efforts in this area started, compared to general distributed computing, the Grid is a very new discipline and its exact focus and the core components that make up its infrastructure are still being investigated and have yet to be determined. Generally it can be said that the Grid has evolved from a carefully configured infrastructure that supported a limited number of grand challenge applications executing on high-performance hardware between a number of US national centres, to what we are aiming at today, which can be seen as a seamless and dynamic virtual environment. In this book we take a step-by-step approach to describe the middleware components that make up this virtual environment which is now called the Grid.


Before we go any further we need to somehow define and characterize what can be seen as a Grid infrastructure. To start with, let us think about the execution of a distributed application. Here we usually visualize running such an application "on top" of a software layer called middleware that unifies the resources being used by the application into a single coherent virtual machine. To help understand this view of a distributed application and its accompanying middleware, consider Figure 1.1, which shows the hardware and software components that would be typically found on a PC-based cluster. This view then raises the question, what is the difference between a distributed system and the Grid? Obviously the Grid is a type of distributed system, but this does not really answer the question. So, perhaps we should try and establish "What is a Grid?"

In 1998, Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman provided an initial definition in their book The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure: "A computational grid is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides dependable, consistent, pervasive, and inexpensive access to high-end computational capabilities." This particular definition stems from the earlier roots of the Grid, that of interconnecting high-performance facilities at various US laboratories and universities.

Since this early definition there have been a number of other attempts to define what a Grid is. For example, "A grid is a software framework providing layers of services to access and manage distributed hardware and software resources" or a "widely distributed network of high-performance computers, stored data, instruments, and collaboration environments shared across institutional boundaries". In 2001, Foster, Kesselman and Tuecke refined their definition of a Grid to "coordinated resource sharing and problem solving in dynamic, multi-institutional virtual organizations". This latest definition is the one most commonly used today to abstractly define a Grid.

Foster later produced a checklist that could be used to help understand exactly what can be identified as a Grid system. He suggested that the checklist should have three parts to it. (The first part to check off is that there is coordinated resource sharing with no centralized point of control that the users reside within different administrative domains.) If this is not true, it is probably the case that this is not a Grid system. The second part to check off is the use of standard, open, general-purpose protocols and interfaces. If this is not the case it is unlikely that system components will be able to communicate or interoperate, and it is likely that we are dealing with an application-specific system, and not the Grid. The final part to check off is that of delivering non-trivial qualities of service. Here we are considering how the components that make up a Grid can be used in a coordinated way to deliver combined services, which are appreciably greater than the sum of the individual components. These services may be associated with throughput, response time, meantime between failure, security or many other facets.

From a commercial view point, IBM define a grid as "a standards-based application/resource sharing architecture that makes it possible for heterogeneous systems and applications to share, compute and storage resources transparently".

So, overall, we can say that the Grid is about resource sharing; this includes computers, storage, sensors and networks. Sharing is obviously always conditional and based on factors like trust, resource-based policies, negotiation and how payment should be considered. The Grid also includes coordinated problem solving, which is beyond simple client-server paradigm, where we may be interested in combinations of distributed data analysis, computation and collaboration. The Grid also involves dynamic, multi-institutional Virtual Organizations (VOs), where these new communities overlay classical organization structures, and these virtual organizations may be large or small, static or dynamic. The LHC Computing Grid Project at CERN is a classic example of where VOs are being used in anger.


For Grid-related technologies, tools and utilities to be taken up widely by the community at large, it is vital that developers design their software to conform to the relevant standards. For the Grid community, the most important standards organizations are the Global Grid Forum (GGF), which is the primary standards setting organization for the Grid, and OASIS, a not-for-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards, which is having an increasing influence on Grid standards. Other bodies that are involved with related standards efforts are the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), here there are overlaps and on-going collaborative efforts with the management standards, the Common Information Model (CIM) and the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM). In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is also active in setting Web services standards, particularly those that relate to XML.

The GGF produces four document types related to standards that are defined as:

Informational: These are used to inform the community about a useful idea or set of ideas, for example GFD.7 (A Grid Monitoring Architecture), GFD.8 (A Simple Case Study of a Grid Performance System) and GFD.11 (Grid Scheduling Dictionary of Terms and Keywords). There are currently eighteen Informational documents from a range of working groups.

Experimental: These are used to inform the community about a useful experiment, testbed or implementation of an idea or set of ideas, for example GFD.5 (Advanced Reservation API), GFD.21 (GridFTP Protocol Improvements) and GFD.24 (GSS-API Extensions). There are currently three Experimental documents.

Community practice: These are to inform the community of common practice or process, with the objective to influence the community, for example GFD.1 (GGF Document Series), GFD.3 (GGF Management) and GFD.16 (GGF Certificate Policy Model). There are currently four Common Practice documents. Recommendations: These are used to document a specification, analogous to an Internet Standards track document, for example GFD.15 (Open Grid Services Infrastructure), GFD.20 (GridFTP:

Protocol Extensions to FTP for the Grid) and GFD.23 (A Hierarchy of Network Performance Characteristics for Grid Applications and Services). There are currently four Recommendation documents.


Perhaps the most important standard that has emerged recently is the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA), which was developed by the GGF. OGSA is an Informational specification that aims to define a common, standard and open architecture for Grid-based applications. The goal of OGSA is to standardize almost all the services that a grid application may use, for example job and resource management services, communications and security. OGSA specifies a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) for the Grid that realizes a model of a computing system as a set of distributed computing patterns realized using Web services as the underlying technology. Basically, the OGSA standard defines service interfaces and identifies the protocols for invoking these services.

OGSA was first announced at GGF4 in February 2002. In March 2004, at GGF10, it was declared as the GGF's flagship architecture. The OGSA document, first released at GGF11 in June 2004, explains the OGSA Working Group's current thinking on the required capabilities and was released in order to stimulate further discussion. Instantiations of OGSA depend on emerging specifications (e.g. WS-RF and WS-Notification). Currently the OGSA document does not contain sufficient information to develop an actual implementation of an OSGA-based system. A comprehensive analysis of OGSA was undertaken by Gannon et al., and is well worth reading.

There are many standards involved in building a service-oriented Grid architecture, which form the basic building blocks that allow applications execute service requests. The Web services-based standards and specifications include:

Program-to-program interaction (SOAP, WSDL and UDDI);

Data sharing (eXtensible Markup Language - XML);

Messaging (SOAP and WS-Addressing);

Reliable messaging (WS-ReliableMessaging);

Managing workload (WS-Management);

Transaction-handling (WS-Coordination and WS-AtomicTransaction);

Managing resources (WS-RF or Web Services Resource Framework);

Establishing security (WS-Security, WS-SecureConversation, WS-Trust and WS-Federation);

Handling metadata (WSDL, UDDI and WS-Policy);

Building and integrating Web Services architecture over a Grid (see OGSA);

Overlaying business process flow (Business Process Execution Language for Web Services - BPEL4WS);

Triggering process flow events (WS-Notification).

As the aforementioned list indicates, developing a solid and concrete instantiation of OGSA is currently difficult as there is a moving target - as the choice of which standard or specification will emerge and/or become popular is unknown. This is causing the Grid community a dilemma as to exactly what route to use to develop their middleware. For example, WS-GAF and WS-I are being mooted as possible alternative routes to WS-RF.

Later in this book (Chapters 2 and 3), we describe in depth what is briefly outlined here in Sections 1.2-1.4.


Excerpted from The Grid by Maozhen Li Mark Baker Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.



List of Abbreviations.

1 An Introduction to the Grid.

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Characterization of the Grid.

1.3 Grid-Related Standards Bodies.

1.4 The Architecture of the Grid.

1.5 References.

Part One: System Infrastructure.

2 OGSA and WSRF.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Traditional Paradigms for Distributed Computing.

2.3 Web Services.

2.4 OGSA.

2.5 The Globus Toolkit 3 (GT3).


2.7 WSRF.

2.8 Chapter Summary.

2.9 Further Reading and Testing.

2.10 Key Points.

2.11 References.

3 The Semantic Grid and Autonomic Computing.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Metadata and Ontology in the Semantic Web.

3.3 Semantic Web Services.

3.4 A Layered Structure of the Semantic Grid.

3.5 Semantic Grid Activities.

3.6 Autonomic Computing.

3.6.1 What is autonomic computing?

3.6.2 Features of autonomic computing systems.

3.6.3 Autonomic computing projects.

3.6.4 A vision of autonomic Grid services.

3.7 Chapter Summary.

3.8 Further Reading and Testing.

3.9 Key Points.

3.10 References.

Part Two: Basic Services.

4 Grid Security.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 A Brief Security Primer.

4.3 Cryptography.

4.4 Grid Security.

4.5 Putting it all Together.

4.6 Possible Vulnerabilities.

4.7 Summary.

4.8 Acknowledgements.

4.9 Further Reading.

4.10 References.

5 Grid Monitoring.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Grid Monitoring Architecture (GMA).

5.3 Review Criteria.

5.4 An Overview of Grid Monitoring Systems.

5.5 Other Monitoring Systems.

5.6 Summary.

5.7 Chapter Summary.

5.8 Further Reading and Testing.

5.9 Key Points.

5.10 References.

Part Three: Job Management and User Interaction.

6 Grid Scheduling and Resource Management.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Scheduling Paradigms.

6.3 How Scheduling Works.

6.4 A Review of Condor, SGE, PBS and LSF.

6.5 Grid Scheduling with QoS.

6.6 Chapter Summary.

6.7 Further Reading and Testing.

6.8 Key Points.

6.9 References.

7 Workflow Management for the Grid.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 The Workflow Management Coalition.

7.3 Web Services-Oriented Flow Languages.

7.4 Grid Services-Oriented Flow Languages.

7.5 Workflow Management for the Grid.

7.6 Chapter Summary.

7.7 Further Reading and Testing.

7.8 Key Points.

7.9 References.

8 Grid Portals.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 First-Generation Grid Portals.

8.3 Second-Generation Grid Portals.

8.4 Chapter Summary.

8.5 Further Reading and Testing.

8.6 Key Points.

8.7 References.

Part Four: Applications.

9 Grid Applications – Case Studies.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 GT3 Use Cases.

9.3 OGSA-DAI Use Cases.

9.4 Resource Management Case Studies.

9.5 Grid Portal Use Cases.

9.6 Workflow Management – Discovery Net Use Cases.

9.7 Semantic Grid – myGrid Use Case.

9.8 Autonomic Computing – AutoMate Use Case.

9.9 Conclusions.

9.10 References.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    'The Grid' book worth to read

    It is the first systematic and comphensive Grid textbook I know. The book shows that the authors have reviewed huge amount of related work and refined as contents. It's a great reference for students, scientists and also technicians working in Grid area.

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