Feature - Grid Power in Five Minutes?
Start the clock.
It is 16.23. Harald Kornmayer, spokesperson for the g-Eclipse project, has already drawn a crowd. His promise? Access to the computing power of the Grid in just five minutes.
For those juggling the complexity of multiple stand-alone grid-based applications, Kornmayer offers something simple: g-Eclipse-a generic framework that allows users to incorporate many different tools via a standardized, customizable, intuitive interface.
"We're aiming to develop a general middleware-independent framework that can be easily used by all grid users, operators and application developers," explains Kornmayer.
"We're also providing support for new applications, so new projects can speed up tool development and integration, reducing time-to-market and time-to-service."
The g-Eclipse project is funded by the European Commission and uses existing grid infrastructures, for example, those of Enabling Grids for E-sciencE and int.eu.grid. The first public release of g-Eclipse, tailored to EGEE's gLite middleware, will be made in June, 2007, and a first milestone is already available for download. A final release supporting multiple middleware stacks is scheduled for June 2008.
"g-Eclipse has been built on top of the highly successful Eclipse framework," says Kornmayer. Eclipse, a platform-independent framework for software development, is managed by the not-for-profit Eclipse foundation, and is completely open source.
"The entire g-Eclipse project uses open source code," Kornmayer says. "Everything is transparent and open. You can tell us about bugs, you can contribute to development. We're aiming to make access to the grid as quick and simple as possible.
So, just how successful has the project been so far? Back at the g-Eclipse booth it's now 16.24. Kornmayer begins the g-Eclipse demonstration.
"First, you need to be a member of a Virtual Organization. Then you need certification..." Kornmayer selects his VO, then clicks "New certificate"; there is nothing too difficult here. He continues in a flash of user-friendly menus and intuitive tools.
By 16.27 Kornmayer has loaded a new project.
At 16.28 he is running his first job.
"How'd I do?" he asks. "Five minutes? I told you so!"
- Cristy Burne, iSGTW