NSF, Australia release new grid software

NSF, Australia release new grid software

The National Science Foundation and the University of Melbourne have released software packages that focus on grid computing.

Last month, NSF released version 4 of its Middleware Initiative (www.nsf-middleware.org), an open-source package of grid tools. Grid computing lets computers in different locations share resources, such as processors and applications.

The latest NSF release includes new components for multimedia conferencing and single sign-on authentication, according to Kevin Thompson, the NSF program director overseeing the grid initiative.

The package also updates previously released software such as an analyzer to test compliance with schema based on the Extensible Markup Language.

The University of Melbourne in Australia recently released grid resource monitoring software called Gridscape (www.cs.mu.oz.au/~raj/grids/gridscape). The software eliminates the need to write code to oversee individual grid-run projects, a common problem when setting up new grids, according to developers Hussein Gibbins and Rajkumar Buyya.

According to a white paper by the developers (arxiv.org/ftp/cs/papers/0307/0307052.pdf), most grid monitoring tools, being HTML-based, present static displays of information. They also frequently are designed for one particular project and can not be used on other projects without considerable reworking. The researchers set out to create software that would update performance data on the fly and be quickly adaptable to new projects.

The Grid Computing and Distributed Systems Laboratory (www.gridbus.org) of the University of Melbourne oversaw Gridscape's development.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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