One way to view computational Grids is to conceptualize them as a ubiquitous technology utility that interconnects, seamlessly, highly distributed resources, including those that are world-wide. This type of description suggests the potential emergence of a mass market for this technology, and there are indications today of such a market. However, today the majority of applications that are driving Grid projects today are originating within large organizations that are solving large scale complex problems that require significant bandwidth, data, and compute cycles.
The development of Grid computing was originally motivated by large scale e-Science. For example in the US, a major Grid project is the TeraGrid, which is being funded by $53 million from the National Science Foundation. The TeraGrid is a national distributed high performance technology fabric with key facilities in Illinois and California, connected by an optical network backplane at multiple 10s of Gigabits per second (initially, up to 40 Gbps). The TeraGrid will provide 13.6 Teraflops initially (trillion floating point operations per second, ref www.teragrid.org). Many Grid projects have been established world-wide. Some are described below. These projects can be described in accordance with a variety of general categories, for example, standards efforts, application oriented, and Grid infrastructure oriented. (Ref: "The GRID: Blueprint for a new Computing Infrastructure," Ed. by Foster and Kesselman, Published by Mogan Kaufmann.)
iCAIR has been a supporter of Grid computing since the days of its earliest conceptualization (e.g., it implemented early versions of Globus, established prototype Grid clusters, hosted the 2nd Grid Forum, participated in the creation of a regional science Grid, etc.). Currently, iCAIR is involved with a number of national and international Grid projects. One such project is the development of StarLight, a facility that is being designed to support national and global eScience over next generation international networks. Another is I-WIRE, a state-wide infrastructure for Grid computing, which is part of the TeraGrid infrastructure.
The primary standards organization is the Global Grid Forum. A related standards organization, the Globus forum, is developing Grid middleware, which interlinks Grid resources to high performance applications. A related project is the National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative. Other related infrastructure development projects include Condor, Legion, and Gridware.
Other Major Grid Projects
- AP Grid: The primary Asia-Pacific Grid project.
- DOE Science Grid: A Department of Energy project developing a national Grid fabric to support eScience applications.
- DutchGrid: A Grid infrastructure project in the Netherlands, which is linked to the NetherLight project.
- EUROGRID: The European Grid infrastructure project.
- E-Grid: The European Grid forum, which is now part of the Global Grid Forum, but also has separate activities.
- International Virtual DataGrid Laboratory ( iDVL) : This infrastructure is being developed to interlink distributed Grids in Europe, Asia Pacific and the US.
- Irish Computational Grid: The Grid project in Ireland
- INFN-Grid Italian Physics Grid: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
- NorduGrid: The Scandinavian Grid project - The Nordic Testbed for Wide Area Computing project (NorduGrid) is a part of the Nordunet2 programme, aimed to develop networked applications with extensive usage of modern utilities and tools in the Nordic countries.
- StarLight: An advanced global networking facility that is being designed and developed in part to support global Grid computing and applications.
- U.K. National Grid : A Grid infrastructure project in Britain that is being developed to support large scale eScience and link distributed high performance computing facilities.
- UNICORE : A Grid infrastructure project in Germany being developed to support large scale eScience and link distributed high performance computing facilities.
- Access Grid : An infrastructure that provides capabilities for "many-to-many" digital media communications, including the use of multiple high resolution screens.
- European Data Grid : A European Grid project focused on high energy physics, bioinformatics, environmental science and other science research. European Data Grid
- Grid Physics Network (GriPhyN) : A project that is developing capabilities to manage extremely large amounts of data for science projects, including particle detectors at CERN (the Large Hadron Collider), the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which is creating a 3D map of the universe, and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory.
- Information Power Grid : A NASA project oriented toward a wide range of data intensive applications related to space exploration, environmental science, planetary science, and aerospace.
- Network for Earthquake Engineering and Simulation (NEESgrid) : A project developing a computational infrastructure for earthquake studies and simulation across highly distributed systems.
- UK Core eScience
- CrossGrid The Cross Grid is a European R&D project, which aims to develop, implement and exploit new Grid components for interactive compute and data intensive applications like simulation and visualization for surgical procedures, flooding crisis, team decision support systems, distributed data analysis in high-energy physics, air pollution combined with weather forecasting. DAMIEN
- DAMIEN: The Distributed Application and Middleware for Industrial Use of European Networks.
- Particle Physics DataGrid
- GridPP: This particle physics data Grid project is a joint project between UK and CERN.
- UNICORE Plus: Grid technology used by Eurogrid is being developed by this project in Germany.
- Bio GRID: This project is creating interfaces that allow chemist and biologists to interact with HPC facilities.
- ECOGRID: This is a research project focused on the development of economic or market-based resource management and scheduling system for global Grid computing
- BIRN - Biomedical Informatics Research Network. This is one of several Bioinformatics Grid projects in development.