Tool eases Grid monitoring
Technology Research News
Grid computing takes advantage of Internet
connections and unused resources connected to the Net -- like idle computers
and vacant disk space -- to put together virtual computers powerful enough
to handle compute-intensive problems like processing huge amounts of scientific
Although the concept of coordinating otherwise unused computers
distributed around a worldwide network is relatively simple, the coordination
takes a lot of effort. As Grid computing becomes more commonplace, researchers
are developing tools that simplify the practice.
University of Melbourne researchers have produced a toolkit that
makes it easier to see how a Grid job is going. The tool allows users
to create a Web interface to a Grid computing testbed without having to
do any programming.
The tool, dubbed Gridscape, includes a template that allows users
to plug in information like a testbed name, logo, information about the
computers being used in the testbed, and a geographical map, said Rajkumar
Buyya, a lecturer of computer science and software engineering at the
University of Melbourne in Australia.
Most simply, Gridscape provides users with a holistic view of
a testbed that shows user application jobs running on different Grid nodes,
said Buyya. The tool can also be used to search for resources like computers
that have certain attributes, to check the attributes of a given resource,
or to check which resources are currently on-line, he said. "The status
of Grid resources is displayed on a geographic map [of] the testbed [that]
can be queried further for detailed information."
The tool dynamically creates Web content using Java JSP, Servlets
[the] portal, the changes may be viewed on-line immediately," said Buyya.
To create the tool, the researchers began with another Grid tool:
the information services components of the Globus Grid toolkit. "It provides
us with a standard interface for gathering Grid resource information,"
said Buyya. "Without those protocols a generalized tool like this really
would be difficult to produce," he said.
The researchers' aim was to make a simple, widely accessible tool
that would enable more rapid development of Grid testbed portals, said
Buyya. Existing portal development kits provide programming interfaces
to a lower-level Grid framework that requires an a significant amount
of programming effort, he said. Gridscape makes it possible to rapidly
develop testbed portals without programming, instead offering "a more
generic solution," he said.
The Web-based interface is interactive, dynamic and widely accessible,
and the client-side portion of the tool is light-weight, meaning it does
not take a lot of computing resources, said Buyya. The drawback to the
tool is it may not be specific enough for some testbed requirements, he
In general, Grid computing is allowing scientists to tackle very
large problems that require large amounts of computer resources, said
Buyya. "Distributed computing is... allowing us to deal with data and
compute intensive problems which we previously thought were unfeasible,"
When this type of computing is further developed, "Grid computing
power [will] become analogous to our current electrical power grids,"
said Buyya. People will be able to elect to consume computing power as
a utility, as they do with electricity, gas and water, he said.
The first version of Gridscape is in regular use, and the researchers
are getting ready to release an open source version, according to Buyya.
The researchers also have plans to integrate Gridscape with their
G-monitor Web portal tool. G-monitor allows users to monitor, control
and steer the execution of Grid applications, said Buyya.
They are also working on extending Gridscape to support handheld
devices and mobile phones, he said.
Buyya's research colleague was Hussein Gibbons. The research was
funded by the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Partnership for Advanced
Computing, and Sun Microsystems.
Funding: Corporate, University
TRN Categories: Distributed Computing
Story Type: News
Related Elements: Technical paper, "Gridscape: A Tool for
the Creation of Interactive and Dynamic Grid Testbed Web Portals," Research
Report from the GRIDS Lab at The University of Melbourne, July 2003, posted
in the Computing Research Repository (CoRR) at arxiv.org/abs/cs.DC/0307052
December 31, 2003/January 7, 2004
Bots, humans play together
Light frozen in place
Gel gains life-like motion
Tool eases Grid monitoring
millions of vessels
images secure screens
Colors expand neural
Micro fuel cell runs
boosts solar cells
Shape key to strong
Research News Roundup
Research Watch blog
View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works
News | Blog
Buy an ad link