The Globus Consortium announced the release of Globus Toolkit, version
4.0 (GT4), developed by the Globus Alliance. The Globus Toolkit is an
open standards building block for enterprise-level Grid implementations.
GT4 is the most stable, "enterprise ready" version of the Globus
Toolkit ever -- incorporating the latest Web services standards, new
security and authorization features, and the collaborative efforts of a
global community of open source Grid developers. GT4 can be downloaded
"Interoperability, flexibility and the freedom to choose the best
vendor products and equipment is what enterprise Grid is all about,"
said Ian Foster, board member with the Globus Consortium. "The leading
enterprise Grid vendors and standards bodies are standing behind GT4 as
the preferred open source software for enterprise Grids. By building
Grids with the Globus Toolkit, and by working with vendors who support
the Globus Toolkit -- organizations can best position themselves to
exploit the full potential of enterprise Grid."
For nearly a decade, a global community of Grid developers have
contributed to Globus Toolkit code, and this latest GT4 release
includes all of the necessary tools for building an enterprise Grid.
Key additions to GT4 include:
GT4 complies with the latest Web Services Interoperability
Organization (WS-I) Web services standards, which provides maximum
interoperability between different environments.
GT4 includes initial support for important authorization standards,
including Security Markup Language (SAML) and Extensible Access Control
Markup Language (XACML). These provide business with a foundation for
building a secure Web-services enabled Grid infrastructure.
GT4 implements the Web Services Resource Framework (WS-RF) and Web
Services Notification (WS-N) specifications, which are emerging
standards in OASIS backed by major vendors for Web services enablement
of Grid and resource management systems.
GT4 features sophisticated authorization and security capabilities
-- Globus has always been diligent in Grid security, and GT4 is also
"enterprise ready" from a security perspective.
"For nearly a decade, major vendors and standards bodies -- including
the Global Grid Forum (GGF) -- have contributed to the open source
Globus Toolkit," said Mark Linesch, chair of the GGF. "The Globus
Toolkit has seen terrific success in research, academic and commercial
high- performance computing environments. By continuing to align with
the latest Grid and Web services standards, GT4 is poised for broader
adoption -- particularly in enterprise markets where efficient resource
sharing and more effective data integration are becoming increasingly
North Carolina-based MCNC, which tests and deploys advanced networking
solutions on its North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN)
in partnership with North Carolina universities and state government,
recently performed successful "testbed" work on GT4 -- with systems set
up across the OC48 NCREN backbone. Vendor participants included Cisco,
Gridwise Technologies, IBM, Network Appliance, Red Hat and Sun.
"GT4 brings in all the standards and interfaces," said Wolfgang
Gentzsch, managing director at MCNC who oversaw the GT4 testbed
efforts. "GT4 is much more flexible -- it brings in the ability to
easily enhance Grid toward additional services, like accounting and
billing, metering and measuring. Now that a larger part of GT4 is based
on Web services -- it is much easier to interface and communicate with
other tools which are based on the same Web services standards. As a
result, more and more commercial tools will be compliant in the near
future with Grid services."
Also standing behind the Globus Toolkit are the Globus Consortium
Members -- HP, IBM, Intel, Nortel, Sun and Univa -- all of which have
enterprise Grid products and services built on or around the Globus
Toolkit. For example, IBM has offered its IBM Grid Toolbox based on the
Globus Toolkit, and later this fall will announce a version based on
GT4. And Grid Engine, the open source project sponsored by Sun, has
been integrated into GT4 for a project at Imperial College in London.
MCNC and Gridwise Technologies have also contributed to this effort.
"Globus Toolkit 4.0 allows enterprise users to bring standardized Web
services into a Grid environment, further simplifying the automated
allocation of resources available on a Grid," said Greg Astfalk, chief
scientist, office of corporate strategy and technology at HP. "HP sees
Grid as a powerful way to virtualize and manage resources, enabling
companies to respond to changing business needs and realize HP's vision
of becoming Adaptive Enterprises."
"Standards are key to accelerating adoption of Grid Computing in the
commercial marketplace," said Ken King, IBM vice president of Grid
computing. "A key driver of Grid standards is the successful
implementation and acceptance of Globus with enterprise customers. The
new Globus Toolkit 4.0 adds more robust Web services capabilities,
enhanced security and powerful authorization features that we believe
will be very compelling to our customers as they look at Grid as a way
to simplify their infrastructure."
"Sun is actively engaged in bringing the productivity gains of Grid
computing into the enterprise," said Sohrab Modi, vice president of N1
Grid Systems at Sun Microsystems. "As a major supporter of open
standards and open source software, Sun is pleased to see the arrival
of Globus Toolkit 4 as another key tool toward achieving widespread use
of Grid technologies in the enterprise."
"Enterprises are increasingly challenged by constricting IT budgets,
yet frustrated with proprietary, inflexible systems that remain
under-utilized," said Steve Tuecke, CEO of Univa Corp., a provider of
commercial software, technical support and professional services for
the Globus Toolkit. "Since the previous release of the Globus Toolkit,
we have witnessed the emergence of many Web Services standards that are
relevant for Grid infrastructure. Expanded support for these standards
throughout GT4 enables enterprises to more easily integrate existing IT
systems with Globus in order to optimize the use of existing computing,
storage and networking resources."