iSGTW Feature - Standards are the GLUE 2.0

Feature - Standards are the GLUE 2.0

With many projects involved, a truly universal standard can be a challenge. Image courtesy of NorduGrid and Vicky White

In a major step forward, the Open Grid Forum, or OGF, announced on Tuesday, March 3 that they endorsed the GLUE 2.0 specification as the international grid standard.

The specification delivers the long-awaited common information model of grid entities. This document is a product of the international grid community, with contributions from the largest grid infrastructure projects and their middleware providers, such as EGEE, Open Science Grid, TeraGrid, NorduGrid, NAREGI and practical experiences from the science collaborations around the Large Hadron Collider (WLCG).

"During recent years, the grid community has been working very hard to reach convergence on how grid entities are modelled and described. The non-existence of a common information model has always been a major obstacle to interoperability. The release of the GLUE 2.0 specification as an OGF proposed standard is a major achievement of the grid community. As one of the founders of the GLUE working group, the Nordugrid Collaboration is naturally committed to adopting GLUE 2.0 through its ARC middleware" said Balazs Konya, NorduGrid Technical Coordinator and co-chair of the GLUE Working Group. "This will allow us to provide standards-based interoperability for our users with several grid infrastructures, including EGEE, the world's largest multidisciplinary grid."

The pervasiveness of the Internet and World-Wide Web in modern life would not be possible without the underlying standards that everyone understands and uses. For grids to reach this level of ubiquity, the global community needs to agree on and codify the protocols that should be used across the board. OGF is the largest body working towards these necessary
standards within grids. Built from users, vendors and developers, OGF allows everyone associated with the technology to have their say on the standards adopted.

A conceptual model of the relationships among the main entities in a grid environment, showing resources, activities, policies and domains, among other items. Image courtesy GLUE 2.0

"The Information Service within any grid project is vital in allowing users and their applications to discover the existence of services and the capability of their underlying resources," said Steven Newhouse, EGEE's Technical Director. "The GLUE 2.0 specification represents the most recent phase of sustained effort between the major grid infrastructures around the world that has taken place over several years to build interoperability between our systems. EGEE will be adopting and deploying the GLUE 2.0 specification within our Information Service over the next year to provide an interoperable base that our user community can use to exploit services from our own and our collaborating infrastructures."

The GLUE 2.0 specification was presented at OGF25 in Catania in the first week of March.

Over the week there were numerous sessions on defining, discussing and debating the standards which need to be in place for the future growth of grids. The sessions included lessons to be learned from the high throughput computing community, the benefits of grid standards to other computing infrastructures like volunteer projects based on BOINC, and discussions on which path to take in various aspects of the grid technology from workload management to metadata.

For more information on grids and standards, download GridTalk's Grid Briefing.

-Dan Drollette, iSGTW