The Anatomy of the Grid: Enabling Scalable Virtual Organizations
Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Department of Computer Science, The University of Chicago, USA
The term “the Grid” was coined in the mid1990s to
denote a proposed distributed computing infrastructure
Considerable progress has since been made on the
construction of such an infrastructure (e.g., [1, 2, 6, 7])
but the term “Grid” has also been conflated, at least in
popular perception, to embrace everything from
advanced networking to artificial intelligence.
might wonder whether the term has any real substance
Is there really a distinct “Grid problem”
and hence a need for new “Grid technologies”?
what is the nature of these technologies, and what is
their domain of applicability?
While numerous groups
have interest in Grid concepts and share, to a
significant extent, a common vision of Grid
architecture, we do not see consensus on the answers
to these questions.
My purpose in this talk is to argue that the Grid
concept is indeed motivated by a real and specific
problem and that there is an emerging, well-defined
Grid technology base that solves this problem. In the
process, I develop a detailed architecture and roadmap
for current and future Grid technologies.
I also argue
that while Grid technologies are currently distinct from
other major technology trends, such as Internet,
enterprise, distributed, and peer-to-peer computing,
these other trends can benefit significantly from
growing into the problem space addressed by Grid
The real and specific problem that underlies the
Grid concept is
resource sharing and
problem solving in dynamic, multi-institutional virtual
The sharing that we are concerned with
is not primarily file exchange but rather direct access
to computers, software, data, and other resources, as is
required by a range of collaborative problem-solving
industry, science, and engineering.
This sharing is,
necessarily, highly controlled, with resource providers
and consumers defining clearly and carefully just what
is shared, who is allowed to share, and the conditions