February 2006
International Cyberinfrastructure: Activities Around the Globe
John O’Callaghan, Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing


The core grid middleware for the National Grid is the Virtual Data Toolkit (VDT) being used in the Open Science Grid and deployed on Globus Toolkit (Version 2). This is being complemented with toolkits for virtual organisation management, resource discovery, job scheduling and job monitoring.

An APAC Certificate Authority (CA) has been established to provide an authentication service for users of the National Grid. The CA has recently been recognised as a production level service by the Asia-Pacific Grid Policy Management Authority (APGridPMA). This allows APAC certificates to be acknowledged by other grids around the world and therefore support international research collaboration.

The design of the National Grid involves a ‘gateway’ system at each partner site configured to support a range of grid services and to receive and process grid service requests. The aim of the design is to:

  • limit the number of systems that need grid components installed and managed within the APAC partnership thus reducing overall grid management overheads
  • enhance security as many grid protocols and associated ports only need to be open between the gatekeepers, as only the local gatekeeper needs to interact with site systems
  • support roll-out and control of production grid configuration through the implementation of standardised grid support across all APAC partner sites
  • support production and development grids and local experimentation without significant hardware investment through a Virtual Machine implementation where different services and different quality of services are provided on separate grid installations

Through the use of a ‘virtual machine’ tool, the gateways are supporting the following production and development grids simultaneously:

Virtual Machine 1 VDT based on Globus 2 (ng1)
Virtual Machine 2 VDT based on Globus 4 (ng2)
Virtual Machine 3 SRB services (ngdata)
Virtual Machine 4 Production portals
Virtual Machine 5 Development server (ngdev)
Virtual Machine 6 LCG grid

The architecture of the gateway system at one of the APAC partners (VPAC) is shown in Figure 2. The gateway system is connected to the external networks (GrangeNet and AARNet) and internally to the compute systems (Edda, Brecca, Wexstan) as well as the data control network. The scheduling of jobs on the compute systems is done through a version of PBS.

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Reference this article
O'Callaghan, J. "A National Grid Infrastructure for Australian Researchers," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 2, Number 1, February 2006. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2006/02/a-national-grid-infrastructure-for-australian-researchers/

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