Architecture

grid

The Lattice Project is a hybrid of current archetypal grid technologies and custom components. One grid model is based on a conventional cluster where nodes receive work from a scheduling process. This model has benefited from substantial work on developing protocols for handling job management, data movement, and security. For these reasons, the Globus Toolkit is the backbone of our grid system. It provides an open source implementation of a number of these grid protocols and services. Our system currently uses the Grid Resource Allocation and Management (GRAM) service, the Reliable File Transfer (RFT) service, the Grid Security Infrastructure (GSI), and the Monitoring and Discovery Service (MDS), among others. In many cases, Condor scheduling software runs on the trusted resources that Globus addresses.

Another approach to grid computing is the Desktop Grid (DGrid), in which idle cycles are scavenged from a large number of heterogeneous, distributed resources and used to execute large-scale, highly parallel scientific computation. One of the earliest such projects to be launched was SETI@home, which continues to use the processing power of large numbers of machines in its search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The dominant architecture for a DGrid consists of a coordinating server that distributes and tracks tasks over a large collection of potentially unreliable and untrusted machines. We use the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, or BOINC, to include public computing resources in our grid system. Integrating BOINC as a Globus-addressable resource is one of the most novel aspects of our grid system. To participate in our BOINC project, visit boinc.umiacs.umd.edu.