November 2005
E-Infrastructure: Europe Meets the e-Science Challenge
Mark Parsons, NextGRID Project Chairman

NextGRID’s Vision

The broad NextGRID vision is of a networked IT infrastructure to support an unlimited range of applications and business processes throughout their lifecycle. This includes all resources– hardware, software, data and services, available from a complex ecosystem of providers. The primary goal of NextGRID is to define the architecture that will lead to the emergence of the Next Generation Grid. This will prepare the way for the mainstream use of Grid technologies and their widespread adoption by organisations and individuals from across the business and public domains. In addition to new architectural designs, NextGRID will contribute to the key middleware components, application support mechanisms, know-how and standards that underpin the Next Generation Grid.

Of course, NextGRID cannot address these objectives alone. The participants in NextGRID are the representatives of a much larger community of researchers, technology vendors, service providers and users. We inspire and work with this wider community, providing critical input and thought leadership to the development of the architecture for future Grids, incorporating our results into widely accepted standards, and so encompassing a much larger body of work within our own organisations and in the community at large. We also understand that parts of our work will be incremental and parts revolutionary.

The project structure is built around the architectural design process. This process is informed by the development work, business and operational activities and application experimentation. At the end of each six-month design cycle, the results are fed into the development activities, which focus on Grid foundations, dynamics and interactions. The consolidated outputs of the project are exploited up by its standardisation activity and the business partners in the project. The work of the project is very broad and this article is too short to relate all of it here. The project has now completed two architecture cycles and the broad thrust of our activities has been defined. Rather than detailing our many activities there is more value to be gained by focusing on one particularly important innovation–the idea that Grids can be built up from pairwise inter-enterprise relationships governed by Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that capture the mutual interests of each pair of participants.

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Reference this article
Parsons, M. "The Next Generation Grid ," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 1, Number 4, November 2005. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2005/11/the-next-generation-grid/

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