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Feature - Multiple middleware

The National Institute of Nuclear Physics, or INFN, is dedicated to the study of the fundamental constituents of matter, and conducts theoretical and experimental research in the fields of subnuclear, nuclear and astroparticle physics.
Image courtesy of INFN.


Since the birth of computational and data grids, a variety of middleware has been developed, deployed and used in a multitude of isolated e-infrastructures, and concern over middleware interoperability is growing.

Recently, three researchers in Italy—Roberto Barbera of the University of Catania, Marco Fargetta of Consorzio COMETA, and Emidio Giorgio of INFN Catania—found a new approach to grid interoperation, based on “middleware co-existence.” In this approach, different middleware is deployed on the same infrastructure, allowing users to access and share resources within a single, well-defined policy, regardless of the middleware used, and with a common authentication and authorization scheme.

Their approach built upon the work of the EU co-funded ICEAGE project, which fosters innovative and effective grid education through development and deployment of a standard e-Infrastructure for use in grid-training events, dubbed t-Infrastructure.

This figure illustrates the middleware coexistence approach in which you can merge two (or more) grid infrastructures, each based on different middlewares that don't communicate with each other.

The "Super" Information Index, Compute Element (CE) and User Interface (UI) refer to elements that integrate the middlewares in a way that makes the coexistence transparent to the user.  

Illustration courtesy of Marco Fargetta, Consorzio COMETA, Catania—Italy

Another Aspect of Grid Interoperation

GILDA—the educational infrastructure created by INFN Catania in 2004 and used
worldwide in many grid projects—has become, under ICEAGE, the standard grid training
infrastructure for university courses and for the International Summer Schools on
Grid Computing series. A subset of GILDA now employs a multi-middleware infrastructure based on co- existence.

The IWSGC08 grid school provided the first successful demonstration of the multi-middleware GILDA subset. Students were able to simultaneously use gLite, Condor, Globus Toolkit 4 and OGSA-DAI. (UNICORE and OMII-UK middleware are also supported.)

While this approach has been developed and deployed initially on a training
infrastructure, nothing limits it to this use, according to the researchers. It can be used wherever site managers and users are concerned about the support of different platforms.

Marco Fargetta, Consorzio COMETA

To learn more, click here.



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