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PGDM (DUAL) 2004-2006

Marketing & Systems

Grid Computing
A Business Perspective

Karan Maini
Roll No 1 2C

Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies

GRID COMPUTING

Acknowledgement
I take this opportunity to thank my mentor Mr. S Sasikumar for helping me research this topic and for providing a business perspective to the study. I would also like to thank Prof. TK Ganguli for evaluating this project. I would like to thank Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies for providing me with a platform to conduct this study and make it a success.

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ABSTRACT
Getting a 54 teraflop machines computational capabilities simply by downloading a thin client onto the machine is something that no processor can achieve solely, as of now and probably for a long time to come. This is where technological concepts like network computing, distributed computing and now grid computing have snatched the lead, simply because the willingness to pay, to spend more, no longer exists. As our fast-paced and modern world swiftly develops and adapts to new and fast emerging technologies, people have begun to realize that increasing processing capabilities in a single location is not as efficient as it used to be. Go ahead develop it, we need it, we are willing to pay for it this was the driving force behind chip manufacturers who tried to cram more power into a single chip every year. That however, is history. The realization has set in that these machines with their processing power shared are eventually not meant for use by the common man, but instead are meant for the well being of the common man. We see its applications in areas such as AIDS research, Genome mapping, search for other intelligent life forms, and other research related activities. Optimum utilization of present computational power while overcoming physical boundaries is the future. Distributed and Network computing algorithms have evolved and moved over to give way to futuristic concepts like grid computing. Creating computing potential equivalent to supercomputers which handle astronomical volumes of data, without the complexities of space, heat, or location, and with tremendous scope for enhancement are revolutionizing the size and complexity of problems we are and would be able to solve. Applications of technology are incomplete till their utility to the world at large is evident. Grid computing is a new approach to providing a virtualised infrastructure enabling businesses to maximise flexibility and system response while minimising asset costs. According to research carried out by Quocirca, 52% of large European companies have little to no knowledge of the loading of their existing infrastructure assets, while half of the assets in those companies that do have knowledge of the loadings are heavily under utilised. While focusing on the business impact of Grid computing, we look at what constitutes a Grid, how Grids work and interoperate at a conceptual level, and where Grid computing offers "quick win" gains. Grid is a further evolution of technological changes that are already taking place - such as clustering, file sharing, Web Services, and storage and data virtualisation. Further, Grids offer an opportunity to minimise asset costs through greater utilisation of existing assets, and that the capability of a Grid to offer greater availability and flexibility offers distinct business benefits.

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Introduction
HOW DID IT START ?
Soon after the 5th generation of hardware components came about, engineers started realizing that despite their best efforts they could only concentrate a certain amount of power at a point and no more. Applying this analogy to processors they hit upon the concept multiprocessing as the solution. Putting more than one processor on the same motherboard not only reduced space complexities but also reduced cost of integrating other components. SMP (Symmetric Multi Processing) A concept in which a single system with multiple processors, multiple power supplies, network interface cards and multiple storage devices, provides local fault tolerance and scalable performance.

LAN Computing
A concept where applications run in the memory space of one particular computer, which is the server. All other terminals are dumb or rely solely on the server for their information access demands. Mainframe applications are the best example of this concept.

Distributed Computing
With the advent of the client/server architecture and distributed file systems, onus of processing is no longer on the central computer. Tasks can be broken down into smaller work flows and distributed throughout the network. Results for individual work flows are sent back to the central computer and then integrated. A task has four characteristic demands:

Networking: Delivering questions and answers Computation: Transforming information to produce new information Database access: Access to reference information needed by the computation Database storage: Long term storage of information (needed for later access)

The ideal task is stateless (needs no database or database access), has a tiny network input and output, and has huge computational demand. For example, a cryptographic search

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problem: given the encrypted text, the clear text, and a key search range. This kind of problem has a few kilobytes input and output, is stateless, and can compute for days.

What is Distributed Computing?


Distributed computing is a science which solves a large problem by giving small parts of the problem to many computers to solve and then combining the solutions for the parts into a solution for the problem. Distributed computing projects are designed to use the computers of hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the world, via the Internet, to look for extra-terrestrial radio signals, to look for prime numbers so large that they have more than ten million digits, and to find more effective drugs to fight the AIDS virus. These projects are so large, and require so much computing power to solve, that they would be impossible for any one computer or person to solve in a reasonable amount of time. Distributed computing provides an environment where one can harness idle CPU cycles and storage space of tens, hundreds, or thousands of networked systems to work together on a particularly processing-intensive problem. A number of new vendors have appeared to take advantage of the nascent market; including heavy hitters like Intel, Microsoft, Sun, and Compaq that have validated the importance of the concept.

How It Works
In most cases today, a distributed computing architecture consists of very lightweight software agents (thin clients) installed on a number of client systems, and one or more dedicated distributed computing management servers. There may also be requesting clients with software that allows them to submit jobs along with lists of their required resources. An agent running on a processing client detects when the system is idle, notifies the management server that the system is available for processing, and usually requests an application package. The client then receives an application package from the server and runs the software when it has spare CPU cycles, and sends the results back to the server. The application may run as a screen saver, or simply in the background, without impacting normal use of the computer. If the user of the client system needs to run his own applications at any time, control is immediately returned, and processing of the distributed application package ends. This must be essentially instantaneous, as any delay in returning control will probably be unacceptable to the user.

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Distributed Computing Management Server


The servers have several roles. They take distributed computing requests and divide their large processing tasks into smaller tasks that can run on individual desktop systems (though sometimes this is done by a requesting system). They send application packages and some client management software to the idle client machines that request them. They monitor the status of the jobs being run by the clients. After the client machines run those packages, they assemble the results sent back by the client and structure them for presentation, usually with the help of a database. If the server doesn't hear from a processing client for a certain period of time, possibly because the user has disconnected his system and gone on a business trip, or simply because he's using his system heavily for long periods, it may send the same application package to another idle system. Alternatively, it may have already sent out the package to several systems at once, assuming that one or more sets of results will be returned quickly. The server is also likely to manage any security, policy, or other management functions as necessary, including handling dialup users whose connections and IP addresses are inconsistent. Obviously the complexity of a distributed computing architecture increases with the size and type of environment. A larger environment that includes multiple departments, partners, or participants across the Web requires complex resource identification, policy management, authentication, encryption, and secure sandboxing functionality. Resource identification is necessary to define the level of processing power, memory, and storage each system can contribute. Policy management is used to varying degrees in different types of distributed computing environments. Administrators or others with rights can define which jobs and users get

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access to which systems, and who gets priority in various situations based on rank, deadlines, and the perceived importance of each project. Obviously, robust authentication, encryption, and sandboxing are necessary to prevent unauthorized access to systems and data within distributed systems that are meant to be inaccessible. To take the ideal of a distributed worldwide grid to the extreme, it requires standards and protocols for dynamic discovery and interaction of resources in diverse network environments and among different distributed computing architectures. Most distributed computing solutions also include toolkits, libraries, and API's for porting third party applications to work with their platform, or for creating distributed computing applications from scratch.

What is Grid Computing ?


"A computational grid is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides dependable, consistent, pervasive, and inexpensive access to high-end computational capabilities". Accessing information anytime and anywhere is the need of the hour in this new era of massively powerful grid-based problem solving solutions. The explosive Grid Computing environments have now proven to be so significant that they are often referred to as being the world's single and most powerful computer solutions. It has been realized that with the many benefits of Grid Computing, we have consequently introduced both a complicated and complex global environment, which leverages a multitude of open standards and technologies in a wide variety of implementation schemes. In fact the complexity and dynamic nature of industrial problems in today's world are much more intensive to satisfy by the more traditional, single computational platform approaches. Grid Computing openly seeks and is capable of adding an infinite number of computing devices into any grid environment, adding to the computing capability and problem resolution tasks within the operational grid environment. The worldwide business demand requiring intense problem-solving capabilities for incredibly complex problems has driven in all global industry segments the need for dynamic collaboration of many ubiquitous computing resources to be able to work together. These difficult computational problem-solving needs have now fostered many complexities in virtually all computing technologies, while driving up costs and operational aspects of the technology environments. However, this advanced computing collaboration capability is indeed required in almost all areas of industrial and business problem solving, ranging from scientific studies to commercial solutions to academic endeavors. For Example :
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A financial organization processing wealth management application collaborates with the different departments for more computational power and software modeling applications. It pools a number of computing resources, which can thereby perform faster with real-time executions of the tasks and immediate access to complex pools of data storage, all while managing complicated data transfer tasks. This ultimately results in increased customer satisfaction with a faster turnaround time.

A group of scientists studying the atmospheric ozone layer will collect huge amounts of experimental data, each and every day. These scientists need efficient and complex data storage capabilities across wide and geographically dispersed storage facilities, and they need to access this data in an efficient manner based on the processing needs. This ultimately results in a more effective and efficient means of performing important scientific research.

A government organization studying a natural disaster such as a chemical spill may need to immediately collaborate with different departments in order to plan for and best manage the disaster. These organizations may need to simulate many computational models related to the spill in order to calculate the spread of the spill, effect of the weather on the spill, or to determine the impact on human health factors. This ultimately results in protection and safety matters being provided for public safety issues, wildlife management and protection issues, and ecosystem protection matters: Needles to say all of which are very key concerns.

Massive online multiplayer game scenarios for a wide community of international gaming participants are occurring that require a large number of gaming computer servers instead of a dedicated game server. This allows international game players to interact among themselves as a group in a real-time manner. This involves the need for on-demand allocation and provisioning of computer resources, provisioning and self-management of complex networks, and complicated data storage resources. This on-demand need is very dynamic, from moment-to-moment, and it is always based upon the workload in the system at any given moment in time. This ultimately results in larger gaming communities, requiring more complex infrastructures to sustain the traffic loads, delivering more profits to the bottom lines of gaming corporations, and higher degrees of customer satisfaction to the gaming participants.

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Grid Computing environments must be constructed upon the following foundations:

Coordinated resources. We should avoid building grid systems with a centralized control; instead, we must provide the necessary infrastructure for coordination among the resources, based on respective policies and service-level agreements.

Open standard protocols and frameworks. The use of open standards provides interoperability and integration facilities. These standards must be applied for resource discovery, resource access, and resource coordination.

Another basic requirement of a Grid Computing system is the ability to provide the quality of service (QoS) requirements necessary for the end-user community. These QoS validations must be a basic feature in any Grid system, and must be done in congruence with the available resource matrices. These QoS features can be (for example) response time measures, aggregated performance, security fulfillment, resource scalability, availability, autonomic features such as event correlation and configuration management, and partial fail over mechanisms.

Data
The data aspects of any Grid Computing environment must be able to effectively manage all aspects of data, including data location, data transfer, data access, and critical aspects of security. The core functional data requirements for Grid Computing applications are:

The ability to integrate multiple distributed, heterogeneous, and independently managed data sources. The ability to provide efficient data transfer mechanisms and to provide data where the computation will take place for better scalability and efficiency. The ability to provide data caching and/or replication mechanisms to minimize network traffic. The ability to provide necessary data discovery mechanisms, which allow the user to find data based on characteristics of the data. The capability to implement data encryption and integrity checks to ensure that data is transported across the network in a secure fashion. The ability to provide the backup/restore mechanisms and policies necessary to prevent data loss and minimize unplanned downtime across the grid.

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Computation
The core functional computational requirements for grid applications are:

The ability to allow for independent management of computing resources The ability to provide mechanisms that can intelligently and transparently select computing resources capable of running a user's job The understanding of the current and predicted loads on grid resources, resource availability, dynamic resource configuration, and provisioning Failure detection and failover mechanisms Ensure appropriate security mechanisms for secure resource management, access, and integrity

Computational and Data Grids


The quality and quantity requirements for some business-related advanced computing applications are also becoming more and more complex. The industry is now realizing that we have a need, and are conducting numerous complex scientific experiments, advanced modeling scenarios, genome matching, astronomical research, a wide variety of simulations, complex scientific/business modeling scenarios, and real-time personal portfolio management. These requirements can actually exceed the demands and availability of installed computational power within an organization. Sometimes, we find that no single organization alone satisfies some of these computational requirements. The requirement for key data forms a core underpinning of any Grid Computing environment. For example, in data-intensive grids, the focus is on the management of data, which is being held in a variety of data storage facilities in geographically dispersed locations. These data sources can be databases, file systems, and storage devices. The grid systems must also be capable of providing data virtualization services to provide transparency for data access, integration, and processing. In addition to the above requirements, security and privacy requirements of all respective data in a grid system is quite complex. Service-oriented Grid architectures and building blocks Design and develop a new service oriented grid architecture for business and industry with special emphasis on security by the end of this decade. Mobile grid architectures and services, merging grid technology with broadband IP networks, both fixed and wireless. Design and develop Open Grid Services Architecture compliant Digital Library services. Grid services to remotely monitor and control complex instrumentation in real-time.

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New application areas and enabling application technologies Dynamic virtual organisations for e-health and e-learning applications. Enabling application technologies for industries such as aerospace, automotive, pharmaceutical and others in the areas of data integration, collaboration and knowledge discovery. Cultural heritage and environmental e-science pilot applications.

How to introduce Grid Computing in Business


Grid Computing is the first step to more general forms of a grid. One can start small in the IT department with, for instance, a server consolidation, which may be considered the very first step towards Grid Computing. While this is possible and recommended, Grid Computing will change the way one will do business in the long run. Although grid technologies are still emerging and maturing, introducing a grid is not primarily a technical challenge. Grid computing will strongly affect business on all levels: personnel, organizational, technical, cultural. Virtualization of resources of all kinds is at the heart of Grid Computing. To achieve this, a paradigm shift in thinking at all levels from my resources, my services and my knowledge to resources, services and knowledge as a utility which are not directly owned by some organizational unit is required. The idea of owning something needs to be given up. As this very often goes along with a certain loss of power which is implicitly expressed by the ownership or control of significant and expensive installations, this is not an easy task to perform. Organizational boundaries need to be traversed and bridged within a single enterprise and maybe even between different organizations if the company is closely partnering with others or tightly integrated into a supply chain. Because of this horizontal orientation, cultural, co operational and coordination aspects are particularly important and will make the difference between the success or failure of the project. Introducing Grid Computing is clearly a strategic issue. Executive management needs to carefully decide whether to introduce it or not, and if so, to what extent. Once the strategic decision is taken, a holistic planning and implementation of the transition process is required to make the project a success. Throughout the entire project, continuous and active executive sponsoring is absolutely vital. On the other hand, situations may exist where a transition to Grid Computing is not indicated. For instance, if the workload on your IT infrastructure follows a precise production schedule and does not change over long periods in time. But even if the detailed analysis of your business requirements and your IT infrastructure shows that Grid Computing is not the ideal solution in the case, the business may profit strongly from identifying organizational realignment as well as organizational and technical consolidation opportunities.

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Grid Benefits
Today, Grid Computing offers many solutions that already address and resolve the above problems. Grid Computing solutions are constructed using a variety of technologies and open standards. Grid Computing, in turn, provides highly scalable, highly secure, and extremely high-performance mechanisms for discovering and negotiating access to remote computing resources in a seamless manner. This makes it possible for the sharing of computing resources, on an unprecedented scale, among an infinite number of geographically distributed groups. This serves as a significant transformation agent for individual and corporate implementations surrounding computing practices, toward a general-purpose utility approach very similar in concept to providing electricity or water. These electrical and water types of utilities, much like Grid Computing utilities, are available "on demand," and will always be capable of providing an alwaysavailable facility negotiated for individual or corporate utilization. Grid Computing systems are being applied in several important scientific research and collaboration projects; however, this does not preclude the importance of Grid Computing in business-, academic-, and industry-related fields. The commercialization of Grid Computing invites and addresses a key architectural alignment with several existing commercial frameworks for improved interoperability and integration. Increasing pressure on development and research costs, faster time-to-market, greater throughput, and improved quality and innovation are always foremost in the minds of administrators - while computational needs are outpacing the ability of organizations to deploy sufficient resources to meet growing workload demands. Grid Computing delivers on the potential in the growth and abundance of network connected systems and bandwidth: computation, collaboration and communication over the Advanced Web. At the heart of Grid Computing is a computing infrastructure that provides dependable, consistent, pervasive and inexpensive access to computational capabilities. By pooling federated assets into a virtual system, a grid provides a single point of access to powerful distributed resources. Researchers working to solve many of the most difficult scientific problems have long understood the potential of such shared distributed computing systems. Development teams focused on technical products, like semiconductors, are using Grid Computing to achieve higher throughput. Likewise, the business community is beginning to recognize the importance of distributed systems in applications such as data mining and economic modeling. With a grid, networked resources -- desktops, servers, storage, databases, and even scientific instruments -- can be combined to deploy massive computing power wherever and whenever it is needed most. Users can find resources quickly, use them efficiently, and scale them seamlessly.

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Using Grids as a Tool for Resource Sharing


Grids can be categorized by the type of resource that is shared, and grid projects, systems, and applications can fall into one or more categories. Compute Grids The original concept for grid technology arose from the need to provide high-performance computing on demand to the academic and research communities. Grid infrastructures were developed to deliver supercomputing power to large scientific projects with complex number-crunching applications that required a vast number of calculations. Compute grids provide high- throughput computing through the coordinated use of many computers that are usually geographically distributed. In a compute grid, a single application is split into smaller pieces to run on many different computers simultaneously, producing supercomputer speed from off-the-shelf hardware. Compute grids can significantly improve the speed and efficiency of executing applications that involve complex and compute- intensive modeling, simulations, and animations. Compute grids enable an organization to harvest spare cycles on servers, workstations, or desktops, or on some combination of these. In many enterprise grid projects that are initiated by the IT department, the interest is primarily in making optimal use of server cycle rather than PC cycles, since the server environment is generally more controlled and the IT department perceives less business risk. To date, the vast majority of grid computing research and commercial product development has focused on compute grids. Data Grids Data grids involve accessing geographically distributed data. The term "information grid" is sometimes used synonymously with data grid. Data grids take grid computing to the next level, beyond a means of increasing computing power to a means of collaborating and sharing data and information resources. As a result, data grids can facilitate collaboration while protecting valuable intellectual property. The need to share massive amounts of data as well as computing resources across many locations is typical of many academic and research efforts. Enterprises increasingly need to share large files and data sets across multiple locations as well. For example, a typical pharmaceutical company has research teams around the world that must share data. Most enterprises solve the problem of sharing data access across a wide area through the use of manual processes and tools such as file transfer protocol (FTP). Data grids offer the promise of providing simplified data access across multiple locations and systems, by providing distributed management of large quantities of data. Instrumentation Grids Instrumentation grids provide shared access to expensive and/or unique scientific instruments such as radio telescopes and electron microscopes for near real-time data processing and analysis. To date, instrumentation grids are of peculiar interest to the research and academic communities. As life sciences and manufacturing

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processes of all kinds become more highly automated, however, there should be increased interest within IT departments and enterprises. Application Grids Application grids are the least well-defined and developed of the four resource classes of grids. In concept, they ensure secure, wide- area application access and utilization. In today's IT world, application grids hold significant promise of decreasing the complexity of developing and implementing cross-enterprise and multi-enterprise applications. It is likely that once Web services become more wide-spread as a method for application development and interoperability, the resulting disaggregation of application components will set the stage for the emergence of application grids.

Enabling New Business Models


A number of technology transitions are taking place or will take place within the next five years that will lower the barriers that exist today to deploy, maintain, and run applications on computer grids. The grid is not only of interest to scientists and engineers running applicationsthat is the traditional user community for grids. Grid deployments will encompass a broad swath of industry verticals that will take the grid well beyond its High Performance Computing (HPC) roots. Beyond capabilities delivered to end users, every participant in the ecosystem has a vested interest in the acceleration in grid uptake: users enjoying new and powerful capabilities, vendors seeking new channels and additional revenues, and organizations discovering that grid deployment can bring associated cost reductions and a welcome competitive edge. While attempts at predicting discontinuous events are not usually very accurate at determining actual outcome, the authors believe that the process of building a thought experiment is intrinsically useful. Moreover, the readers, far from being mere witnesses, will find that these ideas will bring other powerful ideas by association that will lead to a positive influence when it comes to grid evolution. Hardware Configurations: Nodes, Clusters, and Grids A simple three-level abstraction to describe the following grid hardware: NodesA computer in the traditional sense: a desktop or laptop personal computer (PC), or a server in any incarnation, including a self-standing pedestal, a rack module, or a blade, containing one or more central processing units (CPUs) in a Symmetric Multiprocessor (SMP), NUMA, or Cache Coherent Non-Uniform Memory Access (ccNUMA) configuration.

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ClusterA collection of related nodes. GridA collection of clusters. The nodes in a cluster are connected via some fast interconnect technology. Before the introduction of InfiniBand and PCI Express technologies, there was a tradeoff between a relatively high-performance, single-sourced, expensive technology and an economical, standards-based, but lower performance technology. Ethernet, a technology designed for networking, is commonly used in cost-constrained clusters. This setup introduces bottlenecks in parallel applications that require tight node-to-node coordination. The adoption of InfiniBand-based interconnects promises to remove this tradeoff. The clusters in a grid can be connected via local area network (LAN) technology, constituting an intra-gridthat is a grid deployed within departmental boundariesor connected by wide area network (WAN) technology, constituting an inter-grid that can span the whole globe. This model includes boundary cases as particular instances: a grid consisting of exactly one cluster is exemplified by a cluster accessible to a large community, front ended with grid middleware. Through Web services technology, users in a HPC shop can submit jobs for execution through a single, local interface, not even realizing that the job may end up being executed thousands of miles away. In this way, it is possible for the supporting information technology (IT) department to optimize costs across a number of facilities around the world, including outsourced service providers. Conversely, a large clustereven one that contains thousands of nodesmay not be a grid if it does not have the infrastructure and processes that characterize a grid. Remote access may need to be accomplished through relatively limited operating system (OS) utilities such as rlogin or telnet or through customized Web interfaces. A grid made up of single nodes defaults to the setup used in cycle scavenging, which is discussed in the full white paper [PDF 583KB] this article is derived from. This three-tier node-cluster-grid model encompasses grids of greater complexity through recursion: grids of grids are possible, including grids with functional specialization. This functional specialization can happen at the lower levels for technical reasons (for example, a grid might consist of nodes of a certain memory size) or for economic reasons (for example, a grid might be deployed at a certain geographical location because of cost considerations).

Business Advantages that Drive Grid Adoption

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A grid is essentially a set of computing resources shared over a network. Grids differ from more traditional distributed systems, such as the classic n-tier systems, in the way its resources are utilized. In a conventional environment, resources are dedicated: a PC or laptop has an owner, and a server supports a specific application. A grid becomes useful and meaningful when it both encompasses a large set of resources and serves a sizable community. The large set of resources associated with a grid makes it attractive to users in spite of the overhead (and the complexity) of sharing the resource, and the grid infrastructure allows the investment to be shared over a large community. If the grid were an exclusive resource, it would have to be a lot smaller for the same level of investment. In a grid environment, the binding between an application and the host on which it runs begins to blur: the execution of a long-running program can be allocated to multiple machines to reduce the time (also known as wall clock time or actual time) that it takes to run the application. Generally, a program designed to run in parallel will take less time to run as more nodes are added, until algorithmic or physical bottlenecks develop or until the account limits are reached. Two assumptions must hold for an application to take advantage of a grid: Applications need to be re-engineered to scale up and down in this environment. The system must support the dynamic resource allocation as called by applications. As technology advances, it will become easier to attain both of these conditions, although most commercial applications today cannot satisfy either of them without extensive retrofitting.

Shared HeterogeneityA Transportation Analogy


Transportation systems follow a similar philosophy as grids, in terms of making large-scale resources available to users on a shared basis. Jet aircraft may cost anywhere between $50 and $200 million. A private aircraft might provide excellent service to its owner on a coastto-coast flight. The obvious shortcoming of this solution, however, is that the cost of the plane and the fuel it takes to fly it across the continent are out of reach for most people, and in any case, it probably does not represent the best use of capital for general-purpose transportation. The reason why millions of passengers can travel like this every year is because aircraft resources are sharedand any single user pays only for the seats used not for a complete jet and the infrastructure behind it. Shared-resource models come with overheads: users need to make reservations and manage their time to predetermined schedules, and they must wait in line to get a seat. The

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actual route may not be optimized for point-to-point performance: passengers may have to transfer through a hub, and the departure and destination airports may not be convenient relative to the passenger's travel plans, requiring additional hops or some travel in a car. Aircraft used for shared transportation are architected for this purpose. Aircraft designed for personal transportation are significantly smaller, and would not be very efficient as a shared resource. Transportation systems are also heterogeneous, where sharing exists on a continuum. In an air-transportation system, users choose among a variety of dedicated resources, including general aviation, executive aircraft, time-shared aircraft, commuter aircraft, and the very large aircraft used in long-haul flights. Likewise, grids tend to gravitate toward heterogeneity in equipment availability during their lifetime, with nodes going through incremental upgrades. Grids tend to be deployed under diverse business models. While the air-transportation system is an instructive instantiation of a grid, it is so embedded in the fabric of society that we scarcely consider it as such. Computer systems will likely evolve in a similar way as aviation did 60 years agogradually gravitating toward an environment of networked, shared resources as technology and processes improve.

Fungibility and Virtualization in Grids


Ideally, the resources in a computing grid should be fungible and virtualized. Two resources in a system are fungible if one can be used instead of the other with no loss of functionality. Two single dollar bills are fungible, in the sense that they will each purchase the same amount of goods, even if one is destroyed. In contrast, in most computer systems today, if one of two physically identical servers breaks, the second is not likely to be able to take over smoothly. The second server may not be in the right place, or the broken server may contain critical data on one of its hard drives, without which the computation cannot continue. A system can be architected to attain fungibility, for instance, by keeping data separate from the servers that process it. A long-running computation can checkpoint its data every so often, so that if a host breaks, the new host can, when it comes online, pick up the computation at the last checkpoint when it comes online. If the server was running an enterprise application, it could unwind any uncommitted transactions and proceed from there. An online user may notice a hiccup, but the computations are correct. A virtualized resource has been abstracted out of certain physical limitations. For instance, any 32-bit program can access a 4 GB memory virtual space, even if the amount of actual physical memory is substantially less. Virtualization can also apply to whole machines: multiple logical servers can be created out of a single physical server. These logical servers

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run their own copies of the operating system and applications. This setup makes sense in a consolidation setting, where the cost of maintaining the consolidated server is less than it would cost if the machines were hosted in separate, smaller machines. A hosting service provider can provide a client with what looks like an isolated machine but which is actually a virtualized portion of a larger machine. The nodes in a cluster may be "heavy" in the sense of being built as two, four, or more CPUs sharing memory in an SMP configuration. Programs that take more than one node to run can operate in a hybrid Message Passing Interface (MPI)/OpenMP configuration. These programs expose large-grain parallelism, with major portions running in different nodes using the MPI message-passing library. Within one node, each portion is split into a number of threads that are allocated to the CPUs within a node. Building software to a hybrid configuration can increase development costs enormously. Fungibility helps improve operational behaviors. A node operating in a fungible fashion can be taken out of operation and replaced by another one on the fly. In a lights-out environment, malfunctioning nodes can be left in the rack until the next scheduled maintenance. In a highly virtualized, fungible, and modularized environment, deploying computing resources in small increments to respond to correspondingly small variations in demand is possible. Contrast this to the mainframe environment two decades ago: because of the expense involved, a shop would wait until the resources of an existing mainframe were maxed out before purchasing and bringing in a new one in what was literally a forklift upgrade. The main innovation brought up by IBM's System/360 was the ability to run the same software base over a range of machine sizes. An organization could purchase a bigger machine as business grew. This change was expected to happen over months or years. This capability represented enormous progress over having to reimplement the application base for every new model, as the case was before. The bar for business agility today is much higher. The expectation for the grid is that resources dedicated to applications can be scaled up and down almost in real-time. Outsourcing to service providers represents an alternative over long procurement cycles. Because commodity servers are less expensive than mainframes, the budgetary impact of adding a new server is much smaller than adding or upgrading a mainframe. Despite this affordability, however, not all applications can take advantage of extra servers smoothly. The capability for incremental deployment simplifies business processes and reduces the cost of doing business. It enables new business models, such as utility computing, where service provisioning is metered to match demand. A pure utility model is not yet practical today, because the concept can be taken only so far. Even traditional utilities have different granularities and costs. Consider, for example, a traditional electric utility company, where electrons have different costs depending on the

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time of day and the energy source with which they were generated. Most utilities hide this fact, presenting most residential customers with a single, integrated bill. On-demand computing is a more attainable degree of utility computing, where relatively nonfungible resources are allocated dynamically, within certain restrictions. One example is capacityon-demand, where a large server is sold with extra CPUs that are turned on at customer request. A restriction is that the new CPUs cannot be turned off, and hence the rates cannot be rolled back.

Implementation

Practical grids are generally described in terms of layers. The lowest layers (the platform) comprise the hardware resources, including computers, networks, databases, instruments, and interface devices. These devices, which will be geographically distributed, may present their data in very different formats, are likely to have different qualities of service (e.g. communication speeds, bandwidth) and are likely to utilize different operating systems and processor architectures. A key concept is that the hardware resources can change over time - some may be withdrawn, upgraded or replaced by newer models, others may change their performance to adapt to local conditions - for example restrictions in the available communications bandwidth. The middle layers (referred to as middleware) provide a set of software functions that buffer the user from administrative tasks associated with access to the disparate resources. These functions are made available as services and some provide a jacket around the hardware interfaces, such that the different hardware platforms present a unified interface to different applications. Other functions manage the underlying fabric, such as identification and scheduling of resources in a secure and auditable way. The middle layer also provides the ability to make frequently used patterns of functions available as a composed higher-level service using workflow techniques.

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The highest layers contain the user application services. Pilot projects have already been carried out in user application areas, such as life sciences (e.g. computational biology, genomics), engineering (e.g. simulation and modeling, just in time maintenance) and healthcare (e.g. diagnosis, telematics). These services could include horizontal functions such as workflow (the linkage of multiple services into a single service), web portals, data visualization and the language/semantic concepts appropriate to different application sectors.

Grid Developments and Deployment


There is emerging evidence that the technology can achieve significant operational benefits (e.g. in telemedicine), improvements in performance (e.g. in climate modeling and genomics) and a significant reduction in costs. Nevertheless, current grid technologies are not yet viewed as sufficiently mature for industry scale use, and remain largely unproven in terms of security, reliability, scalability, and performance.

Short term
For the short term, Grid is most likely to be introduced into large organizations as internal Enterprise grids, i.e. built behind firewalls and used within a limited trust domain, perhaps with controlled links to external grids. A good analogy would be the adoption into business of the Internet, where the first step was often the roll out of a secure internal company Intranet, with a gradual extension of capabilities (and hence opportunity for misuse) towards fully ubiquitous Internet access. Centralized management is expected to be the only way to guarantee qualities of service. Typically users of this early technology will be expecting to achieve IT cost reduction, increased efficiency, some innovation and flexibility in business processes. At the same time the distinction between web services and grid services is expected to disappear, with the capabilities of one merging into the other and the interoperability between the two standards being taken for granted.

Medium Term
In the mid term, we can expect see wider adoption - largely for resource virtualization and mass access. The technology will be particularly appropriate for applications that utilize broadband and mobile/air interfaces, such as on-line gaming, visualization-on-demand and applied industrial research. The emphasis will move from use within a single organization to use across organizational domains and within Virtual Organizations, requiring issues such as ownership, management and accounting to be handled within trusted partnerships. There will be a shift in value from provision of compute power to provision of information and knowledge. At the same time open standards based tooling for building service oriented applications are likely to emerge and Grid technology will start to be incorporated into off-the-shelf
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products. This will lead to standard consumer access to virtualized compute and data resources, enabling a whole new range of consumer services to be delivered.

Long term
In the longer term, Grid is likely to become a prerequisite for business success - central to business processes, new types of service, and a central component of product development and customer solutions. A key business change will be the establishment of trusted service providers, probably acting on a global scale and disrupting the current supply chains and regulatory environments.

Therefore :
The Grid -- the IT infrastructure of the future -- promises to transform computation, communication, and collaboration. Over time, these will be seen in the context of grids -- academic grids, enterprise grids, research grids, entertainment grids, community grids, and so on. Grids will become service-driven with lightweight clients accessing computing resources over the Internet. Datacenters will be safe, reliable, and available from anywhere in the world. Applications will be part of a wide spectrum of network-delivered services that include compute cycles, data processing tools, accounting and monitoring, and more.

Grid computing and related technologies will only be adopted by commercial users if they are confident that their data and privacy can be adequately protected and that the Grid will be at least as scaleable, robust and reliable as their own in-house IT systems. Thus, new Internet technologies and standards such as IPv6 take on even greater importance. Needless to say, users of the Grid want easy, affordable, ubiquitous, broadband access to the Internet.

Similar to the public policy issues raise by the development of electronic commerce and electronic government, Grids raise a number of public policy issues: data privacy, information and cyber security, liability, antitrust, intellectual property, access, taxes, tariffs, as well as usage for education, government, and regional development.

Distributed vs Grid Computing


Distributed computing is a subset of grid computing.

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Grid Computing got its name because it strives for an ideal scenario in which the CPU cycles and storage of millions of systems across a worldwide network function as a flexible, readily accessible pool that could be harnessed by anyone who needs it, similar to the way power companies and their users share the electrical grid. Sun defines a computational grid as "a hardware and software infrastructure that provides dependable, consistent, pervasive, and inexpensive access to computational capabilities." Grid computing can encompass desktop PCs, but more often than not its focus is on more powerful workstations, servers, and even mainframes and supercomputers working on problems involving huge datasets that can run for days. And grid computing leans more to dedicated systems, than systems primarily used for other tasks. Large-scale distributed computing usually refers to a similar concept, but is more geared to pooling the resources of hundreds or thousands of networked end-user PCs, which individually are more limited in their memory and processing power, and whose primary purpose is not distributed computing, but rather serving their user. There are various levels and types of distributed computing architectures, and both Grid and distributed computing don't have to be implemented on a massive scale. They can be limited to CPUs among a group

SOME APPLICATIONS OF DISTRIBUTED/GRID COMPUTING

Render-farms for making animated movies Rendering a frame can take many CPU hours, so a Grid-scale render farm begins to make sense. For example, Pixar's Toy Story 2 images are very CPU intensive - a 200 MB image can take several CPU hours to render. The instruction density was 200k to 600k instructions per byte. This could be structured as a grid computation - sending a 50MB task to a server that computes for ten hours and returns a 200MB image.

Science Search for extra-terrestrial radio signals at SETI@home SETI@Home is the largest public distributed computing project in terms of computing power.

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On September 26, 2001 it reached the ZettaFLOP (1021 floating point operations) mark--a new world record--performing calculations at an average of 71 TeraFLOPs/second. For comparison, the fastest individual computer in the world is IBM's ASCI White, which runs at 12.3 TeraFLOPs/second. On June 1, 2002, the project completed over 1 million CPU years of computation. On August 19, 2003, the project processed its 1 billionth work unit. As of June 14, 2002, the project has found 3.2 billion spikes and 266 million Gaussians.

Evolution@home
A grand-challenge computation research program to study evolution. The first simulator for the project "helps uncover potential genetic causes of extinction for endangered and not-yet-endangered species by investigating Mullers Ratchet. Improving and Understanding of such genomic decay might one day be used to fight it." As of October 24, 2002, more than 16.3 years of CPU time have been contributed to the project.

Climateprediction.net
Predicts Earth's climate 50 years from now. The project uses a large-scale Monte Carlo simulation to predict what the climate will do in the future.

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On June 22, 2004, the project began a new phase of its experiment, to study "THC slowdown," or how climate might change as CO2 changes in the event of a decrease in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. The project client has some large requirements. In particular, one work unit takes up to 6 weeks to complete on a 1.4 GHz CPU.

Distributed Particle Accelerator Design


Helps design a more efficient particle accelerator Distributed Particle Accelerator Design project. The project "simulates the pion-to-muon decay channel (grey cylinders surrounding a straight blue path) of the RAL Neutrino Factory front end design. This is different to the previous versions of the solenoid-channel-only optimisation because it varies all parameters of the solenoids independently of one another. Here the client does not need to contact a project server to get work. It submits results via ftp whenever it accumulates more than 100 Kbytes of results.

Helps "assemble a powerful, predictive electronic atlas of Earth's biological diversity". Participants "compute, map and provide knowledge of" where Earth's species of plants and animals live currently, where they could potentially live, and where and how they could spread across different regions of the world. Results of the project are used "for biodiversity research, education and conservation worldwide, especially to forecast environmental events and inform public policy with leading-edge science."

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Helps design the next generation of self-diagnosing computer circuits in the Distributed Hardware Evolution Project. The project client evolves populations of individual computer circuits with Built-In Self-Test (BIST, a way for a circuit to detect whether it is producing results correctly) and then migrates the circuits to other project clients to compete with their circuit populations. Self-diagnosing circuits are important to missioncritical systems exposed to radiation. "As an increasing number of mission critical tasks are automated, self-checking circuits are of paramount importance. For example in medical applications (heart monitors, pacemakers), transport (aeroplane hardware, traffic lights, car ABS braking), space (satellites, probes) and industrial facilites (nuclear power plants) and more to come in the future as cars start driving themselves, surgical operations are performed remotely, etc.. In all these areas human lives or great economic loss are at risk. The project uses Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Strategies to design improved circuits.

Company Specific Initiatives


ORACLE
It promises not only to change the way you run your data center, but to change the way you think about the data center itself. It adapts to your changing business needs so that you can spend more time thinking about how to run your business, knowing that your infrastructure will respond with the reliable, secure performance your applications need. It represents a significant rethinking of the traditional role of software infrastructure in areas such as system performance, clustering and storage. The software is the first infrastructure designed for Grid computing ] Larry Ellison

Oracle Database 10g, the first relational database designed for Grid Computing, information is securely consolidated and always available. Oracle Database 10g has the lowest total cost of ownership by making the most efficient use of hardware and IT resources.

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EA GAMES
Electronic Arts proves a Grid Built with Oracle9i Technology on Commodity Clusters Provides the Most Cost-effective Database Solution

"Oracle allowed us to handle a much higher level of complexity at a much higher performance threshold at a lower price point than previous technology." -- Marc West, Senior Vice President and Worldwide Chief Information Officer, Electronic Arts Inc.

University of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee is deeply involved in grid computing research, and to this end HP developed the Scalable Intracampus Research Grid (SInRG) project. SInRG's vision is one in which a massive pool of distributed computing resources becomes a routine and seamlessly integrated part of the normal research-computing environment for very large communities of users.

Westgrid
WestGrid is a $44 million capital project, supported by another $4 million in operating costs, to purchase and install an innovative computing infrastructure across BC and Alberta over the next two years. It is designed to make powerful computing facilities for both computation and visually rich collaboration available to researchers.

Sun Microsystems
Sun is changing the very nature of utility computing with the new Sun Grid utility offerings, enabling you to purchase computing power as you need it, without the long-term lifecycle costs related to capital, management, depreciation, and floor space. Sun Grid radically simplifies the way you select, acquire, and use next generation IT infrastructure. Sun Grid makes complex technology simple to use via a single point of contact be it a desktop, a call center, or an enterprise. Sun Grid allows you to derive immediate productivity and economic benefits from our open, grid-based computing infrastructure. This utility model gives you more choice and control on how you purchase and leverage IT power for competitive advantage.

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Commercial Aspects
Grid computing provides consistent, inexpensive access to computational resources (supercomputers, storage systems, data sources, instruments, and people) regardless of their physical location or access point. As such, The Grid provides a single, unified resource for solving large-scale compute and data intensive computing applications.

Grid enables the selection, aggregation, and sharing of information resources resident in multiple administrative domains and across geographic areas. These information resources are shared based upon their availability, capability, and cost, as well as the users quality of service (QoS) requirements. Grid computing is meant to:

Reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) Aggregate and improve efficiency of computing, data, and storage resources Enable the creation of virtual organizations for applications and data sharing No long-term contracts Simple/standard Price transparency High performance Secure Eco-friendly

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This new paradigm will enable heterogeneous computing resources of all kinds to be shared over networks and reallocated dynamically across applications, processes, and users to a greater degree than ever before possible. It will give office and even home machines the ability to reach into cyberspace, find resources wherever they may be, and assemble them on the fly into whatever applications are needed. In this respect, grid computing is a key foundational technology of this new paradigm.

There are many industries where grid computing has applicability. In the financial services industry, there is no end to the consumption of CPUs. These companies need to have their risk management applications executed as quickly as possible in order to be competitive. In light of the energy crisis in the oil and gas industry, there are many energy companies using grid computing for seismic processing and reservoir simulations. Companies can use additional CPU capacity to expedite testing and get their products to market ahead of the competition. Auto manufacturers can get better safety ratings with more comprehensive crash testing. On a daily basis, banks can be more risk-averse in their trades by drawing on more extensive data. Other industries where grid computing is applicable include media/entertainment, manufacturing, government/education, health sciences, and information sciences.

Billing
To get to a true utility computing model, one will have to employ a billing model where one can somehow work out the per unit of application, memory, network bandwidth, CPU, and database cost and so on. And then present it in some kind of aggregated unit cost. Most organisations that have a grid implementation use a very basic billing model. Even in outsourcing contracts that have been around for many years, most of them are billing based on per user or per CPU if its purely compute power.

Grid commercial exploitation


Grid community has been traditionally too academic with lack of focus on commercialization Projects did not start from business models but from technologies. 10-15 years of history, scientific up to few years ago Academia has the knowledge that have to be transferred to industry for exploitation GRID more promising now: Grasp the market opportunity Pervasive networks-pervasive grid, convergence with web services standards Grid is no longer limited to High Performance Computing: we are facing soon the Next Generation Grid (NGG)

It is necessary a radical advance in pervasiveness of grid computing. It is necessary a leveraging technology for the provision of new attractive services based on the complex composition and aggregation of virtualized resources

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Conclusion
We can hence conclude that Grid Computing, the newest avtaar of distributed computing is one of the most innovative and productive use of technology by mankind.

The future would be in terms of Cyber-infrastructure, which would include all levels of computing, from handheld devices to supercomputing machines, and the networking and software to enable them to work together. No wastage would be the bottom-line in the technology sector too and maximum performance would be extracted from each and every digital circuit working together all for the benefit of mankind.

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Recommendations

With the advent of truly global organizations which have huge computing needs, Grid computing comes as a welcome cost saver which can also be modulated to become a profit center.

With the GLOBUS toolkit as a standard in place now, companies should focus on harnessing the raw power of their present IT infrastructure.

Cost saving models should be grid-centric, and the implementations should end up paying for themselves in a few years.

Major software applications such as Database software, ERP and CRM along with MIS needs should be implemented on GRID architecture.

High speed communication links would act as a one time investment in tying all the above mentioned facets together.

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Bibliography

www.ibm.com/grid www.oracle.com/grid www.hp.com www.testcases.com/gridcomp/index.htm www.sunmicrosystems.com www.sungrid.com www.globus.org www1.it1.bell.com/g/grid/impl www.nextgrid.com www.howthingswork.com www.motorola.com www.intel.com

References
Grid Computing by Peter Nash Globus Toolkit 3.0 Documentation

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