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Grid Computing Overview and Research Issues

Grid Computing Overview and Research Issues. Peter Kelly Adelaide University, Australia pmk@cs.adelaide.edu.au. Supervisors:. Paul Coddington Andrew Wendelborn. What is grid computing?. Grid computing is many things to many people At its core, it’s about

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Grid Computing Overview and Research Issues

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  1. Grid ComputingOverview and Research Issues Peter Kelly Adelaide University, Australia pmk@cs.adelaide.edu.au Supervisors: Paul Coddington Andrew Wendelborn

  2. What is grid computing? Grid computing is many things to many people At its core, it’s about • Sharing computing resources between organisations • Enabling more complex and demanding applications by providing widespread access to powerful computers and storage • Integrating existing systems together

  3. What is grid computing? In some respects it’s similar to cluster computing, however each computer may • Be located in a different country • Use a different CPU architecture • Run a different operating system • Be owned by a different organisation • Have a different amount of memory, disk space, and computing power, and network bandwidth • Not be available all of the time Thus grids are much more complex than clusters!

  4. Why is it useful? • Demand for computing power is growing rapidly • In industry, science, government, engineering, entertainment, defence… everywhere • Need ways to harness the large amount of computing power available around the world • Organisations often want to collaborate on projects and share resources with each other • Grids provide the infrastructure to integrate different applications that need to collaborate with each other to get useful work done

  5. Types of grid computing • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) • Job submission (supercomputer access) • Cycle stealing

  6. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) • Applications are exposed as services, which provide a well-defined interface and are accessed through standard protocols • Clients use remote procedure calls to access these services Request Client Service Response

  7. Benefits of SOA • SOA is platform agnostic • Client doesn’t need to know how service is implemented • Service doesn’t need to know how client is implemented • SOA is vendor independent • Based on open standards – no “lock in” • All SOA vendors support the same standards to enable interoperability • SOA is widely supported • Many companies are getting behind it • Being adopted widely in commercial and scientific organisations

  8. Job submission • Many organisations have large supercomputers (SMP or clusters) that they want users to be able to submit jobs to • This can be achieved by installing middleware on each supercomputer which interfaces to the local job queue • e.g. Globus GRAM - allows users to submit to job queues such as PBS, LSF, etc. • Users submit jobs to a superscheduler which manages a “higher level” queue and dispatches jobs to resources • The grid middleware handles tasks such as copying files to and from the execution node, monitoring job progress, and abstracts the details of these away from clients

  9. Job submission Cluster SMP machine Cluster Superscheduler Client Client Client

  10. Benefits of Job Submission Grids • Users do not have to worry about differences between job submission systems running on different resources • Superschedulers make it possible to automatically find resources that will execute the job quicker • A user submits a job to a grid, it runs, and they get the results back later • Job submission can be implemented on top of SOA by providing a service with methods for submitting and monitoring jobs, as well as notifying clients of failures or completion • e.g. Globus MMJFS – provides a web service interface to allow users to submit jobs

  11. Cycle stealing • The use of large numbers of desktop PCs to run “embarrassingly parallel” applications • A master node coordinates execution and hands out tasks to workers • The worker process on each machine polls the master for work to do, and then executes the tasks as they become ready • Worker detects when the machine is being used by a user and suspends/aborts the active task • This model is inherently fault tolerant; if a machine dies or a task is aborted it can just be sent to another worker

  12. Cycle stealing Master Worker Worker Worker Worker

  13. Benefits of cycle stealing • Organisations can use their existing infrastructure to run computationally demanding applications • No need to invest in large SMP systems or clusters • Large-scale internet projects can get free computing power • …provided they can convince users to donate CPU time • e.g. SETI@Home • Cheap supercomputing • Generally easy to deploy

  14. So what really is grid computing? • Not really one specific technology or concept • More of an umbrella term, like “networking” or “operating system” • Any (concrete) discussion of grid computing requires all parties involved to agree on a definition of what features they are focusing on • Very much dependent upon what you want to do – different types of organisations have different requirements • Sometimes the lines are blurred and numerous systems support multiple “types” of grid computing • Lots of hype – can be very confusing at first! • it took me about a year to understand it enough to be able to figure out what I wanted to do in my project

  15. Web services • Web services are a particular type of SOA • Based on standards from W3C and others: • WSDL - language for defining service interfaces • SOAP - format used for exchange of messages • UDDI - directory mechanism for locating services • XML - used as standard encoding mechanism used by WS protocols • … and many more • Web services are supported by all major programming languages • either as part of built-in APIs or add-on libraries • Today web services are the most popular mechanism for integrating systems together in and between organisations

  16. Web service composition • A programming model based on composing together functionality provided by multiple web services • Similar to the use of shared libraries/DLL files • common functionality provided by shared entity (service) • composition program builds additional functionality by making use of one or more services • Service composition programs can themselves be exposed as web services • Can then be accessed by clients • Or used as part of even higher-level service compositions • Most popular language at present is BPEL (Business Process Execution Language)

  17. SOA programming vs. remote execution • Web services allow you to invoke programs already installed on a remote machine • Remote code execution allows you to execute arbitrary code on a remote machine • The latter is used for job submission and cycle stealing systems • Our research investigates a combination of these approaches • Provides ability to invoke and expose web services • Provides a distributed execution environment

  18. Execution Environments • Problem: Need a standard way of executing arbitrary code remotely • SOA doesn’t give you this • it only standardises the protocols for different applications to interact with each other • Job submission systems don’t give you this • only standardise the means of submitting and monitoring jobs – but not how they are actually executed • Cycle stealing requires this • existing cycle stealing systems these days typically specify Java or .NET, or use app-specific worker code • but there is no standard which allows us to do this on an internet scale

  19. What is an execution environment • Instruction set • e.g. x86, PPC, SPARC, Java bytecode, .NET bytecode • API library • e.g. WIN32, POSIX, Java class libraries, .NET class libraries • Applications are always compiled for a specific execution environment • Can have different implementations of that environment • x86 - AMD, Intel • Java - Sun, IBM, various open source efforts • .NET - Microsoft, Mono project • Applications compiled for a particular execution environment can run on any implementation of it

  20. Virtual machines • Common way of implementing an execution environment • Abstracts away from underlying hardware/OS, providing platform independence • In a grid containing machines of different CPU architectures and operating systems this is necessary to provide seamless access • To enable code to be executed anywhere, each machine on the grid must provide the same execution environment • Currently popular virtual machines: • Java Virtual Machine (JVM) • .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR)

  21. A grid execution environment? • Problem: No standard execution environment supported by the popular grid middleware • Standardisation efforts (GGF) to date have focused only service interfaces, not implementation • Each grid middleware system provides its own set of APIs, and is targeted at different VMs/OSs • Applications are not yet portable between different middleware systems • At least not in the same sense that bytecode-compiled code is portable • Compatibility exists only at the service interface level

  22. Standardisation? My belief: • We won’t see the full potential of grid computing until we have agreement on a standard execution environment • Currently only SOA aspects are standardised • But this goes only half way to solving the problem This is is very much an open research issue • Obvious candidates are Java and .NET • But are they sufficient? Should they be extended? • What about other alternatives? • Much research already done into VM technology • But not so much in the grid community • IMHO a very important issue! More research needed here

  23. Standardisation? It’s just like the web • Early web pages were static, as there was no support for executing code in the browser; code only ran server-side • In the grid world this corresponds to SOA • Then came early versions of JavaScript/DHTML • Lack of standardisation, browsers were incompatible • Now we have a standard, widely supported, platform independent execution environment on 300+ million computers worldwide (JavaScript/ECMAScript) • And look what happened… client side web apps, AJAX, Google maps, “Web 2.0” and the rest • I predict grid will go through the same evolution

  24. Our current research • Investigating how to combine SOA and remote code execution programming models • Development of a new virtual machine + language implementation targeted at grid applications GridXSLT • An implementation of the XSLT programming language • Supports web service composition • Executes programs across a grid in parallel • Provides a natural way to deal with XML data

  25. Why XSLT? • Ideal for manipulating XML data • Has a “semantic match” with many properties of web services • Is a functional language and can be automatically parallelised • W3C standard with a sizable existing user base • We wanted to avoid the challenges of trying to design a new language and introduce it to the world • Better to just develop a new implementation of an existing one which is already popular

  26. Support for XML data • XSLT is specifically designed for dealing with XML data • All web services exchange data in XML format • Java, C#, C++ etc. are less suitable for manipulating XML because they are not designed for this (and in fact pre-date XML) • XML data is a “second class citizen” in these languages and must be accessed through library functions or converted into objects • APIs like DOM, SAX, etc. are less intuitive than built-in language constructs • Conversion to objects carries significant overheads and risks losing information (e.g. element ordering) • We argue that XSLT is therefore a useful approach to developing composite web services

  27. Pass by value semantics • Another mismatch between OO languages and web services is the way in which function arguments are handled • OO languages use pass by reference semantics - allowing a function to modify its arguments and the caller to see those changes • Web services use pass by value - where a new copy of each argument is made and a function can only transfer information to its caller through the return value • When using an OO language for WS development, the programmer must be aware of this and it can sometimes lead to mistakes • As a side effect-free functional language, XSLT uses pass by value, avoiding this problem

  28. Parallel execution • XSLT is a functional language • Functions and loops do not have side effects - there is no global state that can be modified • This enables automatic parallelisation • All arguments to a function call can be evaluated in parallel • All iterations of a loop can be evaluated in parallel • The programmer never needs to even know that their program will be run in parallel • No dealing with threads, synchronisation, critical sections, message passing, race conditions etc… • The underlying runtime system deals with all these issues

  29. Implementing XSLT • We use a technique called graph reduction, a common way if implementing functional languages • A program is represented as a graph • Execution proceeds by performing a series of transformations on the graph

  30. Graph reduction: Example 2*(3+4) @ @ @ * 2 @ 4 + 3

  31. Graph reduction: Example 2*(3+4) @ @ @ * 2 @ 4 + 3

  32. Graph reduction: Example 2*7 @ @ 7 * 2

  33. Graph reduction: Example 2*7 @ @ 7 * 2

  34. Graph reduction: Example 14 14

  35. Parallel graph reduction • Graph reduction permits the possibility of parallel execution by allowing multiple parts of the graph to be reduced in parallel • Each processor in a parallel computer or cluster can manipulate a separate portion of the graph

  36. Parallel graph reduction + (nprime 2000) (nprime 2001) @ @ @ + @ nprime 2001 nprime 2000

  37. Parallel graph reduction + (nprime 2000) (nprime 2001) @ @ @ + @ nprime 2001 Processor 2 nprime 2000 Processor 1

  38. Parallel graph reduction + 17389 17393 @ @ 17393 + 17389

  39. Parallel graph reduction 34782 34782

  40. Functional programming for grids? It permits • Automatic, seamless parallelism • Automatic, seamless fault tolerance • Automatic, seamless distribution But… • Some programs are based on state, which is in conflict with the pure functional programming model • Although there are ways to get around this, e.g. monads • Different programming style to what most people are used to • Involves a learning curve • But might be worth it to get the above benefits • …depending on your needs

  41. Summary • Grid computing is a very diverse area • Many different types of systems • Many different requirements • Useful in many areas • Different “types” of grid computing • SOA, job submission, cycle stealing • Others as well that I haven’t discussed here • Lots of challenges and open research questions • e.g. defining a suitable execution environment for grid applications • This is just one of many!

  42. Summary Our research project - GridXSLT • An attempt to combine different grid computing models • SOA • Remote code execution/cycle stealing • Aims to make the programmer’s job easier • Parallelisation handled by the compiler • Suited to dealing with XML data exchanged by web services and stored in XML databases • High-level language which hides underlying details

  43. Websites of interest • Global Grid Forum • http://www.ggf.org • Grid Café (introduction to grid computing) • http://www.gridcafe.org • IBM - grid computing • http://www.ibm.com/grid • GridXSLT • http://gridxslt.sourceforge.net • Updates on my research • http://pmkelly.blogspot.com

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