The goal of GridCC was to exploit Grid opportunities for secure and collaborative work of distributed teams to remotely operate and monitor scientific equipment using the Grid’s massive memory and computing resources for storing and processing data generated by this kind of equipment.
The project aims to extend the state of the art of computing grid technologies, by introducing the handling of real-time constraints and interactive response into the existing Grid middleware. Our goal is to build a widely distributed system that is able to remotely control and monitor complex instrumentation that ranges from a set of sensors used by geophysical stations monitoring the state of the earth to a network of small power generators to supply a national power grid. These new applications introduce, to the GRID, requirements that are strongly related to the availability of networks where network classes specifically tuned to address such real-time and highly interactive requests are implemented. One of the main objectives of the project is to verify, with real applications running on existing Grid testbeds over both national and international network infrastructures (e.g. GEANT) the feasibility of a Grid-based remote control of systems requiring real-time response. Data acquired from such instruments typically needs to be stored, analysed on-line to compare the data with a given model or to perform some predictions (e.g. meteorological applications). GRIDCC will integrate the proposed “grid of instruments”, or suitable emulators, into existing Grid infrastructures that will provide the computational and storage power needed for the applications. The reference architecture that is proposed here, along with the related software framework, introduces a new concept, that of a “Virtual Instrument Grid Service” (VlGS), which is a service enabling access, through the Grid, to any instrument by providing an appropriate interface on the instrument side. The architecture combines special-purpose services like virtual control rooms, diagnostic and problem-solving services, data-mining services and tele-presence, which are used to support various instruments with existing grid resources like computational farms and databases.
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