About the Grid
What is a Grid ?
Grid is a new Information Technology (IT) concept of "super Internet" for high-performance computing: worldwide collections of high-end resources - such as supercomputers, storage, advanced instruments and immersive environments. These resources and their users are often separated by great distances and connected by high-speed networks. The Grid is expected to bring together geographically and organisationally dispersed computational resources, such as CPUs, storage systems, communication systems, real-time data sources and instruments, human collaborators. The "plumbing" of the Grid is essentially in place: there are already have large-scale networks of distributed computers, connected by a (comparatively) reliable networks using data communication protocols (TCP/IP etc) that are commonly agreed and widely used. However, because many of the enabling technologies have not yet been developed, the challenges of projects like GriPhyN in grid computing therefore lie in developing the software to drive the grid.This software will be eventually part of a global infrastructure that will make computing power at multiple different locations avalaible as easily as the electricity utility grid to next-generation computer users. Among, Grid pioneers the Globus development team, for example, has created a set of underlying Grid services and a software toolkit for using the geographically distributed resources on Grids. You can find here some more examples of grid applications.

Part of the original motivation for grid computing came from the problems in processing scientific data, where the use of dedicated supercomputers is expensive and frequently infeasible. The Grid will allow scientist worldwide to view and analyze the huge amounts of data flowing from experiments in high-energy and nuclear physics, gravitational waves,astronomy, biology and other area. Large networks of much cheaper and less powerful processors have long been touted as a natural alternative to such dedicated devices, but there has never been a technology capable of exploiting such distributed computational resources. The aim of grid computing is to provide such technologies.

What is the Grid Physics Network?
The aim of the Grid Physics Network is to develop a global software infrastructure that will make use of worldwide distributed computing power to solve problems in processing huge amounts of scientific data flowing from experiments in high-energy and nuclear physics, gravitational waves, astronomy, biology and other areas. Such a powerful information distribution network are needed because 21 st-century physics, biology, astronomy and engineering increasingly depend on the ability to manage and access huge quantities of very complex data. For example, scientists using high-energy colliders to probe the origins of matter must record the effects of billions of proton collisions per year. Biologists or chemists studying proteins, meanwhile, work with exceedinggly complex data gathered from many type of experiments. Among other large-scale experiments, the international Virtual Data Grid Laboratory will serve as a unique computing resource for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and CERN, the world's largest particle physics center near Geneva in Switzerland, for testing new GriPhyN computational paradigms at the Petabyte scale and beyond. The GriPhyN (Grid Physics Network) collaboration is a team of experimental physicists and information technology (IT) researchers who plan to implement the first Petabyte-scale computational environments for data intensive science in the 21st century. Driving the project are unprecedented requirements for geographically dispersed extraction of complex scientific information from very large collections of measured data. To meet these requirements, which arise initially from the four physics experiments involved in this project but will also be fundamental to science and commerce in the 21st century, GriPhyN will deploy computational environments called Petascale Virtual Data Grids (PVDGs) that meet the data-intensive computational needs of a diverse community of thousands of scientists spread across the globe. Among other large-scale experiments, the international Virtual Data Grid Laboratory will serve as a unique computing resource for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and CERN, the world's largest particle physics center near Geneva in Switzerland, for testing new GriPhyN computational paradigms at the Petabyte scale and beyond.
 
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