9/22/2006

Grid Interoperation (Now?)

About a year ago many of us involved in major grid initiatives and facilities realized that there were many pair-wise discussions about interoperation, and a set of emerging "common themes" to these discussions. This quest for interoperation is driven by two strong needs. First, there are many research teams with collaborators located in different countries, and/or on different continents, with access to multiple grid facilities. How do we help them work together, which often involves use of grid resources in multiple grid facilities? A second driver here is a practical and technical desire to adopt working solutions from others rather than reinventing them.

Leaders from nine major Grid initiatives met in November 2005 to band together to drive interoperation (pardon the acronyms): TeraGrid (US), OSG (US), DEISA (Europe), NGS (UK), NAREGI (Japan), K*Grid (Korea), PRAGMA (Pacific Rim), APAC-Grid (Australia), and EGEE (Europe)

During a half-day discussion this group identified four areas where the current state of technology, with some coordination on our part, could begin to support interoperation. We formed several task-forces to develop interoperation plans in the areas of:

- Information services
- Job submission
- Data movement
- Authorization

The PRAGMA folks also took the lead in identifying several early-adopter applications to drive these four areas, and we set up an operations task force to capture that experience. Plans in these areas were presented at the Athens GGF meeting in February, and eleven more grid projects joined us (I won't try to list them here in this already acronym-rich post). A tremendous amount of work was done early this year, and we held updates on progress at the Tokyo (May) and Washington, DC (September) GGF meetings.

You can find details on this progress, constantly being updated and expanded as we move forward, at the Grid Interoperation Now (GIN) wiki hosted at the GGF site.

The next steps for this group involve expanding the applications effort to bring in at least another dozen science teams interested in testing what we have put in place and driving it forward. The GIN effort is completely open, and we are always looking for more people to help out- head over to the site and jump right in!

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