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Nigel Browne
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This is a quote from The Globus Project FAQ. www.globus.org
Don't Java and JINI solve all these problems?
Java provides useful technology for portable,object-oriented application development, but it does not address many of the hard problems that arise when we try to achieve high-performance execution in heterogeneous distributed environments. For example, Java doesn't help us run programs on different types of supercomputers, discover the policy elements that apply at a particular site, achieve single sign-on authentication, perform high-speed transfer across wide area networks, etc. The Globus toolkit addresses some of these concerns, and uses Java to provide portable clients.
Would anyone like to comment on this. I am new to GRID technology but believe that alot can be achieved using Java and wonder if anyone has looked into this.

[This message has been edited by Nigel Browne (edited May 28, 2001).]
 
Mark Herschberg
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The answer to your question is not really. Jini does allow for mobile code. However it's designed to be small scale, point-to-point (roughly, I'm way oversimplifying). The GRID project is designed for large scale parallel computation.
Are you familiar with Seti@Home (the screen saver which analyzes extra-terrestrial radio signals)? It a similar idea. Farm out a computationally intensive project over a loosely coupled distributed system. The scale is orders of manitude bigger than what Jini works on. (Although, again, Jini and the GRID are really designed for different purposes.)
I suppose with Sun's EJB model, you could try to make something like this with EJB's which can easily be moved across machines. However EJBs are generally expected to stay within the same security domain. GRID seems a little more flexibile in this respect.
--Mark
hershey@vaultus.com
 
Nigel Browne
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Thanks for your reply. As I understand it SETI is based on Condor technology. Condor harnesses the capacity of idle workstations for computational tasks, and the subjobs do not need to communicate with each other.
There is a rival to Globus which is called Legion. The Legion project is principled on th edesign of distributed system software by providing standard object representations for processors, data systems, e.t.c. This would create an object oriented framework for grid applications. I still don't see why Sun are not more involved in this up and coming technology and would have thought that JINI could be used for an object oriented approach. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 
Mark Herschberg
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I'm not familiar with Condor. There are a lot of similar technologies. I broiefly helped out with MIT's project Bayanihan, which was similar. When I went to SC97, I saw at least half a dozen other projects similar in nature. There was even an MIT 50k finalist last year based on this idea.
I see what you mean by legion, and that is different.
Jini was really made for small level interactions, e.g. I walk into a random office for a meeting and realized i forgot to bring printouts, so I download the file to my PDA and have my PDA use the local printer, even thoughmy PDA had never met the printer before, or installed any type of driver.
The idea is you have a small federation of services is a veyr loosely coupled network (doesn't even have to be stable). A client can browse these services and use them at will, with no prior setup, other than the requirement of a JVM and adherence to the Jini standard.
Legion seems more like distributed computing--doing tereflop calculations. Jini wasn't designed for distributed computing, rather it allowed for basic computing in a distributed system. See the differce? It's a bit subtle, but the design decisions made in the two systems are quite different.
--Mark
hershey@vaultus.com
 
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