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The emerging Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) standard for distributed computing has garnered a significant endorsement from the United Kingdom e-Science Program. The UK data grid project will adopt OGSA as a common framework for on-line collaboration and contribute OGSA interfaces to database services for the Grid community.

The UK e-Science Program will contribute its OGSA database code to the open source Globus ToolkitT, the foundation for many large-scale science research projects in the UK and elsewhere. The toolkit -- which has emerged as a de facto standard for Grid computing -- is a community-based set of services and software libraries for security, information infrastructure, resource management, data management, communication, fault detection and portability.

The OGSA specification is being developed by the Grid community with leadership from the Globus Project, in partnership with IBM. Building on the widespread availability of web services, OGSA is meant to create a seamless environment for sharing resources via the Internet.

In adopting OGSA as a path to interoperability and portability, the UK e-Science leadership is committed to:

    1. Promote the use of OGSA in UK Data Grid pilot projects

    2. Encourage the pilot projects to adopt software engineering processes geared toward OGSA

    3. Recommend interim strategies for the pilot projects while OGSA is in development

    4. Contribute substantially to the definition of OGSA and to the pioneering of related implementations, with emphasis on database access and integration

"Many of the UK pilot projects require data grids. We expect to see substantial benefits from building them on the OGSA standards," said UK e-Science leader Tony Hey. "Through our database access and integration project we expect to contribute OGSA components in the near future."

Hey will describe the OGSA commitment in his presentation at Edinburgh, Scotland, during GGF5, the Global Grid Forum meeting on July 21-24. OGSA will be prominent on the conference agenda, as software users and developers from around the world meet to define where Grid computing is headed. The GGF is a community-driven set of working groups that develop standards and best practices for distributed computing in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia-Pacific.

"Everyone at the Globus Project is pleased with the UK Data Grid's strong endorsement of OGSA," said Ian Foster, associate division director at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and professor of computer science at the University of Chicago. "For Grid computing to reach its potential as a ubiquitous infrastructure, the Grid services specification needs to meet the community's needs for interoperability and resource integration. OGSA's widespread adoption in the UK will be key, as will the UK's promised contributions to the specification itself."

Foster and colleagues Carl Kesselman (Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California), Steve Tuecke (ANL) and Jeff Nick (IBM) released the initial draft OGSA specification at GGF4 in February 2002. Since then, the community effort has proceeded, with several GGF working groups focused on rapid definition of Grid services. The Globus Project has posted a fact sheet at http://www.globus.org/ogsa/, describing the status of its progress toward incorporating OGSA standards into a new version of the Globus Toolkit.

[The Globus Project] [UK e-Science Programme] [Global Grid Forum]


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