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Contents of /trunk/grid-mw-security/ees/thesis/introduction.tex

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Final pdf
1 \chapter*{Introduction}
2 \addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Introduction}
4 \section*{Purpose}
5 This document is a deliverable for the completion of the final internship for the \textit{Technische Informatica} (TI) study course at the \textit{Hogeschool van Amsterdam} (HvA).
6 The internship lasted from May 2009 to October 2009 at Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics.
7 During this internship I have helped design and implement the \textit{Execution Environment Service} (EES), a Grid security middleware service component.
9 \section*{Grid computing}
10 Grid computing is a term that describes computing platforms that aim to provide ubiquitous computing resources.
11 Analogous to the power Grid, software should just be 'plugged in' and run.
12 The goal of Grid computing is to utilize existing computing infrastructures equally well as infrastructures that are to be realised in the future.
14 CERN, one of the largest users of Grid technology, defines Grid computing simply as: "\textit{A service for sharing computer power and data storage capacity over the Internet}".
16 %\section{Grid computing VS Cloud computing}
17 %It is easy to mistake Grid computing for Cloud computing: the key distinction to make is that while cloud computing completely abstracts the underlying infrastructure from the user's point of view (for example by using virtualization), Grid computing tries to optimize available resources by maintaining control over the lower layers of the architecture.
18 %This enables users to, for example, devise their own strategies for replicating data within their project's quota limits.
19 %This is abstracted from the user in cloud computing environments.
20 %Also, Grids are inherently multi-domain (meaning they are provided by multiple cooperating organisations) and open (meaning they make use of open standards).
21 %Incidentally, they also frequently employ Open Source software.
23 % Bij grid heb je binnen de quota limitieten de replicatie tactieken zelf in de hand.
24 % Bij cloud wordt het gekozen voor je.
25 % Multi-domain
26 % Open standaarden
27 % Open source
29 % Computing resources
30 % Meer cluster architectuur
31 % Bepaalde typen resources
32 % Hoe groot het grid is (zie mail oscar)
35 \section*{Purpose of the EES}
36 The EES is a service that can procure execution environments on Grid sites.
37 These execution environments can be as simple as an existing Unix user account to which the supplied user credentials are 'mapped' or as complex as deploying full virtual machines for a user.
39 I have proposed a design of the EES, building on experience of previous middleware and improving upon its design.
40 The improved design aims to facilitate new use cases by decoupling the service from underlying business logic, instead relying on a shared library that manages plug-ins to provide this.
41 It includes an API that plug-ins can use to interact with a shared data store, used to access and exchange information centrally.
43 %Specifically I worked on the design and implementation of the \textit{EES Execution Framework} (EEF).
44 \section*{Document organisation}
45 This document is organised as follows:
46 \begin{itemize}
47 \item Section 1 gives a short history of Nikhef and the projects it is involved with.
48 \item Section 2 tries to give a brief but practical introduction to the Grid computing security framework.
49 \item Section 3 details the proposed design of the EES.
50 \item Section 4 provides an overview of the API's designed to interact with the EEF.
51 \item Section 5 describes the experiences, problems and design shortcomings encountered during the implementation of the EEF.
52 \item Section 6 suggests future improvements.
53 \item Section 7 draws conclusions about the applicability of the proposed design.
54 \end{itemize}
56 \section*{Prior work}
57 The \textit{gLite user guide} \cite{glite_user_guide} provides an introduction to the gLite middleware stack, which can serve as a more complete reference to the middleware services described in section 2.
58 Appendix \ref{use_cases} describes the use cases the gLite stack is currently used for, which provides the shortest possible introduction to the different middleware services and their roles.

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