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The Grid: The First 50 Years. Ian Foster Argonne National Laboratory University of Chicago Carl Kesselman Information Sciences Institute University of Southern California. Licklider (1960): Man-Computer Symbiosis….

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The grid the first 50 years

The Grid: The First 50 Years

Ian Foster

Argonne National Laboratory

University of Chicago

Carl Kesselman

Information Sciences Institute

University of Southern California

Licklider 1960 man computer symbiosis
Licklider (1960):Man-Computer Symbiosis…

… is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. The main aims are

to let computers facilitate formulative thinking as they now facilitate the solution of formulated problems, and

to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs.

Problem solving in the 21 st century
Problem Solving in the 21st Century

  • Teams organized around common goals

    • Communities: “Virtual organizations”

  • With diverse membership & capabilities

    • Heterogeneity is a strength not a weakness

  • And geographic and political distribution

    • No location/organization possesses all required skills and resources

  • Must adapt as a function of the situation

    • Adjust membership, reallocate responsibilities, renegotiate resources

Context 1 revolution in science
Context (1):Revolution in Science

  • Pre-Internet

    • Theorize &/or experiment, aloneor in small teams; publish paper

  • Post-Internet

    • Construct and mine large databases of observational or simulation data

    • Develop simulations & analyses

    • Access specialized devices remotely

    • Exchange information within distributed multidisciplinary teams

Context 2 revolution in business
Context (2):Revolution in Business

  • Pre-Internet

    • Central data processing facility

  • Post-Internet

    • Enterprise computing is highly distributed, heterogeneous, inter-enterprise (B2B)

    • Business processes increasingly computing- & data-rich

    • Outsourcing becomes feasible => service providers of various sorts

The power grid on demand access to electricity
The (Power) Grid:On-Demand Access to Electricity

Quality, economies of scale


By analogy a computing grid
By Analogy, A Computing Grid

  • Decouple production and consumption

    • Enable on-demand access

    • Achieve economies of scale

    • Enhance consumer flexibility

    • Enable new devices

  • On a variety of scales

    • Department

    • Campus

    • Enterprise

    • Internet

Not exactly a new idea
Not Exactly a New Idea …

  • “The time-sharing computer system can unite a group of investigators …. one can conceive of such a facility as an … intellectual public utility.”

    • Fernando Corbato and Robert Fano, 1966

  • “We will perhaps see the spread of ‘computer utilities’, which, like present electric and telephone utilities, will service individual homes and offices across the country.”

    • Len Kleinrock, 1967

Computing isn t really like electricity
Computing isn’t Really Like Electricity

  • I import electricity but must export data

  • “Computing” is not interchangeable but highly heterogeneous: data, sensors, services, …

  • This complicates things; but also means that the sum can be greater than the parts

    • Real opportunity: Construct new capabilities dynamically from distributed services

  • Raises fundamental questions

    • Achieving economies of scale

    • Quality of service across distributed services

    • Applications that exploit synergies

New opportunities demand new technology
New OpportunitiesDemand New Technology

“Resource sharing & coordinated problem solving in dynamic, multi-institutional virtual organizations”

“When the network is as fast as the computer's internal links, the machine disintegrates across the net into a set of special purpose appliances” (George Gilder)

Taking sharing to the next level
Taking Sharing to the Next Level

  • Sharing of communication

    • Telephones, mailing lists, collaboration tools

  • Sharing of data and knowledge

    • Web, semantic web

  • What about the rest of the infrastructure?

    • Services, computers, programs, sensors, …

Existing technologies are helpful but not complete solutions
Existing Technologies are Helpful,but Not Complete Solutions

  • Peer-to-peer technologies

    • Limited scope and mechanisms

  • Enterprise-level distributed computing

    • Limited cross-organizational support

  • Databases

    • Vertically integrated solutions

  • Web services

    • Not dynamic

  • Semantic web

    • Limited focus

What s missing is support for
What’s Missing is Support for …

  • Sharing & integration of resources, via

    • Discovery

    • Provisioning

    • Access (computation, data, …)

    • Security

    • Policy

    • Fault tolerance

    • Management

  • In dynamic, scalable, multi-organizational settings

Enter the grid
Enter the Grid

  • Infrastructure (“middleware”) for establishing, managing, and evolving multi-organizational federations

    • Dynamic, autonomous, domain independent

    • On-demand, ubiquitous access to computing, data, and services

  • Mechanisms for creating and managing workflow within such federations

    • New capabilities constructed dynamically and transparently from distributed services

    • Service-oriented, virtualization

Building the grid
Building the Grid

  • Open source software

    • Globus Toolkit® , UK OGSA DAI, Condor, …

  • Open standards

    • OGSA, other GGF, IETF, W3C standards, …

  • Open communities

    • Global Grid Forum, Globus International, collaborative projects, …

  • Open infrastructure

    • UK eScience, NSF Cyberinfrastructure, StarLight, AP-Grid, …

Open source
Open Source

  • Encourage adoption of standards by reducing barriers to entry

    • Overcome new technology Catch-22

  • Enable broad Grid technology ecosystem

    • Key to international cooperation

    • Key to science-commerce partnership

  • Jumpstart Grid industry and allow vendors to focus on value-add

    • E.g., IBM, Avaki use GT3; Platform Globus

    • Open source is industry friendly!

Globus toolkit history

DARPA, NSF, and DOE begin funding Grid work

Globus Toolkit® History

Does not include downloads from:NMI, UK eScience, EU Datagrid,IBM, Platform, etc.

GT 2.0


Physiology of the Grid

Paper Released

Anatomy of the Grid

Paper Released



Interest in


The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing

Infrastructure published

NSF & European Commission

Initiate Many New Grid Projects

Early Application

Successes Reported

GT 1.0.0


NASA begins

funding Grid work,DOE adds support

The emergence of open grid standards

Managed shared

virtual systems

Computer science research

Open Grid

Services Arch

Web services, etc.

Real standards

Multiple implementations

Globus Toolkit



Defacto standard

Single implementation

The Emergence ofOpen Grid Standards

Increased functionality,









Grid communities
Grid Communities

  • Global Grid Forum

    • Standards, information exchange, advocacy

    • 1000+ participants in tri-annual meetings

  • Application communities

    • E.g., physics, earthquake engineering, biomedical, etc.

  • Software development and support

    • NSF Middleware Initiative, UK eScience, Globus Toolkit, EGEE, …

Data grids for high energy physics
Data Grids for High Energy Physics

  • Enable international community of 1000s to access & analyze petabytes of data

  • Harness computing & storage worldwide

  • Virtual data concepts:manage programs, data, workflow

  • Distributed system management

Mygrid goble de roure shadbolt et al
myGrid(Goble, De Roure, Shadbolt, et al.)

  • Imminent data deluge in bioinformatics

  • Heterogeneous, complex, and inter-related data sources

  • Integrated, community -wide treatment of data, literature, computational services

Neesgrid earthquake engineering collaboratory
NEESgrid Earthquake Engineering Collaboratory

U.Nevada Reno

Distributed aircraft maintenance environment austin et al
Distributed Aircraft Maintenance Environment (Austin et al.)

In flight data

Global Network

eg: SITA

Ground Station


DS&S Engine Health Center

Maintenance Centre

Internet, e-mail, pager

Data centre

Industrial perspective on grids a wide range of applications




LS /


Mechanical/ Electronic Design

Process Simulation


Element Analysis

Failure Analysis




Statistical Analysis

Portfolio Risk Analysis



Cancer Research

Drug Discovery

Protein Folding

Protein Sequencing

Web Applications

Weather Analysis

Code Breaking/ Simulation




Reservoir Analysis

Digital Rendering

Massive Multi-Player


Streaming Media

“Gridified” Infrastructure

Industrial Perspective on Grids:A Wide Range of Applications

Unique by Industry with Common Characteristics

Grid Services Market Opportunity 2005

Sources: IDC, 2000 and Bear Stearns- Internet 3.0 - 5/01 Analysis by SAI

Open infrastructure
Open Infrastructure

  • Broadly deployed services in support of fundamental collaborative activities

    • Formation & operation of virtual organizations

    • Authentication, authorization, discovery, …

  • Services, software, and policies enabling on-demand access to critical resources

    • Computers, databases, networks, storage, software services,…

  • Operational support for 24x7 availability

  • Integration with campus and commercial infrastructures

Open infrastructure1














Tier0/1 facility

Tier2 facility

Tier3 facility

10 Gbps link

2.5 Gbps link

622 Mbps link

Other link

Open Infrastructure

Grid communities technologies
Grid Communities & Technologies

  • Yesterday

    • Small, static communities, primarily in science

    • Focus on sharing of computing resources

    • Globus Toolkit as technology base

  • Today

    • Larger communities in science; early industry

    • Focused on sharing of data and computing

    • Open Grid Services Architecture

  • Tomorrow

    • Large, dynamic, diverse communities that share a wide variety of services, resources, data

    • Challenging computer science research issues

Summary the grid explained via the bcs lovelace medal

“The complexity of the problems facing mankind is growing faster than our ability to solve them. Finding ways toaugment our intellect is both a necessary & desirable goal.”

Openness—in software, standards, and

community—can be a

powerful accelerator of progress

Doug Engelbart

Linus Torvalds

New capabilities via resource sharing within distributed virtual organizations …

… enabled by open software & standards within an international community.

Summary: The Grid Explained,via the BCS Lovelace Medal


Questions? faster