The research seminar report is focused on an emergent technology called Grid Computing. Grid technology uses divide-and-conquer tactics to distribute computationally intensive tasks among any number of separate computers for parallel processing. It allows unused CPU capacity – including, in some cases, the downtime between a user’s keystrokes – to be used in solving large computational problems. The report is divided into three parts, which are what is Grid, what is rationale of Grid.And then discuss the present and the future of Grid Technology.
WHAT IS GRID COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY?
Grid computing is an emerging computing model that provides the ability to perform higher throughput computing by taking advantage of many networked computers to model a virtual computer architecture that is able to distribute process execution across a parallel infrastructure. Grids use the resources of many separate computers connected by a network (usually the Internet) to solve large-scale computation problems.
Grids provide the ability to perform computations on large data sets, by breaking them down into many smaller ones, or provide the ability to perform many more computations at once than would be possible on a single computer, by modeling a parallel division of labor between processes.
Sometimes it’s easier to start defining Grid computing by telling you what it isn’t. For instance:
It’s not artificial intelligence,
It’s not some kind of advanced networking technology.
It’s also not some kind of science-fictional panacea to cure all of our technology ailments.
If you can think of the Internet as a network of communication, then Grid computing is a network of computation: tools and protocols for coordinated resource sharing and problem solving among pooled assets. These pooled assets are known as virtual organizations. They can be distributed across the globe; they’re heterogeneous (some PCs, some servers, maybe mainframes and supercomputers); somewhat autonomous (a Grid can potentially access resources in different organizations); .
Although Grid computing is firmly ensconced in the realm of academic and research activities (and has been for the past decade), more and more companies are starting to turn to it for solving hard-nosed, real-world problems.
Most IT departments are being forced to do more with less. Budgets are tight, resources are thin, and skilled human resources can be scarce or expensive. To top it off, most corporate managers know that they have a super-abundance of idle computing power.
It’s well known in industry circles that most desktop machines only use 5% to 10% of their capacity, and most servers barely peak out at 20%. No surprise then that many of the big money people in corporate America balk at the thought of purchasing more equipment to get the job done.
What these companies need is not more horsepower, but more efficient use of existing horsepower. They need a way to tie all of these idle machines together into a pool of potential labor, manage those resources, and provide secure and reliable access to the number-crunching muscle. Imagine if a corporation or organization could use all of its idle desktop PCs at night to run memory- and processor-intensive tasks? They would get more work done faster, possibly get to market faster, and at the same time cut down their IT expenses.
Grid computing is emerging as a viable technology that businesses can use to wring more profits and productivity out of IT resources — and it’s going to be up to you developers and administrators to understand Grid computing and put it to work.
THE RATIONALE OF GRID COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY
Grids can be built in all sizes, ranging from just a few machines in a department to groups of machines organized as a hierarchy spanning the world.
_Figure1: A simple Grid (IBM redpaper3613 )_
As presented in _Figure 1_, a few machines can structure the simplest grid, all of the same hardware architecture and same operating system, connected on a local network. This kind of grid uses similar systems, so there are fewer considerations and may be used just for experimenting with grid software. The machines are usually in one department of an organization, and their use as a grid may not require any special policies or security concerns. Because the machines have the same architecture and operating system, choosing application software for these machines is usually simple.
_Figure 2: A more complex Intergrid (IBM redpaper3613 )_
A grid may grow to cross organization boundaries, and may be used to collaborate on projects of common interest. This is known as an “Intergrid.” The highest levels of security are usually required in this configuration to prevent possible attacks and spying. The Intragrid offers the prospect for trading or brokering resources over a much wider audience. Resources may be purchased as a utility from trusted suppliers.
THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE
Today, grid systems are still at the early stages of providing a reliable, well performing and automatically recoverable virtual data sharing and storage. Forbes predicted the grid would be a US$20 trillion industry by the year 2020. So far many world’s leading companies , such as IBM, Oracle, HP, Microsoft, BT, BBC and Vodafone, have been getting on the Grids.
In 2004, Oracle launched its Oracle 10g (“g” standing for “grid”)
Oracle 10g allows organizations to deploy Grid Computing as a foundation for business-oriented transactional, content management, and business intelligence applications
IBM launched World Community Grid, a global humanitarian effort that will use the vast and unused computational power of the world’s computers: to help unlock genetic codes that underlie diseases like HIV, cancer, improve forecasting of natural disasters and support studies that can protect the world’s food and water supply
To sum up, Grid Computing is an emergency technology for future Internet development; it is emerging as a viable technology that businesses can use to wring more profits and productivity out of IT resources. Moreover, it is used as emergency technology to solve some large and complex scientific problems.
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Maozhen Li, Mark A. Baker: The Grid: Core Technologies, Wiley, ISBN 0470094176, Website
CERN: The Grid Café – What is Grid?, viewed 04 Feb 2005.
Roger Smith: Grid Computing: A Brief Technology Analysis, CTO Network Library, 2005.