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Grid Computing

Grid computing environments have been defined as computing environments that are fundamentally distributed, heterogeneous, and dynamic, in their resources and performance. According to [11], Grid initiatives will establish a huge environment--connecting global computer systems, including end-computers, databases, and instruments, into a World-Wide-Web-like distributed system for science and engineering.

Many researchers in science and engineering believe that the future of computing will heavily depend on the Grid for efficient and powerful computing, improving legacy technology, increasing demand-driven access to computational power, increasing utilization of idle capacity, sharing computational results, and providing new problem-solving techniques and tools. Substantially powerful Grids can be established using high-performance networking, computing, and programming support, regardless of the location resources and users.

We can ask what will be the biggest hurdles--in terms of programming support--to simplify distributed heterogeneous computing--in the same way that the World Wide Web simplified information sharing over the Internet. One possible answer is high performance--a slow system that has a clever motivation is not very useful. There will be a pressing need for grid-enabled applications that hide the heterogeneity and complexity of the underlying grid, without losing performance.

Today, programmers often write grid-enabled application in what is in effect an assembly language: sometimes using explicit calls to the Internet Protocol's User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), with hard-coded configuration decisions for specific computing systems. We are a far from portable, efficient, high-level languages.


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Next: HPspmd Programming Model: Towards Up: High-Performance Grid-Enabled Environments Previous: High-Performance Grid-Enabled Environments
Bryan Carpenter 2004-04-24