Virtualization as a founding technology for the Grid Infrastructure of the A&A VRC

Giuliano Taffoni (INAF IASF Bologna), Claudio Vuerli (INAF OATS), Massimo Sponza (INAF OATS), Fabio Pasian (INAF OATS)


Virtualization is becoming a widely used technique for IT systems in many application environments. The main goal of this solution is a server and/or services consolidation to optimize the utilization of resources and to lower the ownership costs. Virtualization provides new and powerful features also for Grid systems.
In the area of Grid Computing, virtualization allows: a) service consolidation and server optimization; b) find a solution to some problems intrinsic in the grid systems, like coping with heterogeneous resources.
Grid Middleware implementations require that a job executed in the grid environment is able to find a resource (hardware and software requirements) to utilize. To cope with this problem, the gLite Middleware, used by EGI e-Infrastructure, introduces strong dependencies on the Operating system and its version (Scientific Linux 4).
By encapsulating the middleware into a virtual appliance, resource providers can support different Virtual Organizations with a minimum effort. Moreover it is possible to share the same hardware with different virtual Grid resources supporting different middleware implementations.
In this poster we show the use of a virtual appliance (VirtualBox) associated with an appropriate hardware infrastructure, as a framework for service consolidation to provide the high level services specific for the astronomy and astrophysics (A&A) virtual research community in EGI e-infrastructure.
High-level Grid services allow users and applications to locate the resources necessary to execute their tasks, both in terms of hardware and libraries. To make a grid Infrastructure available and usable by the A&A community it is necessary to provide and customize those high level services (namely the Workload management system, the data management system, the information system).
This approach will be extended to verify whether different middlewares can be supported on the same physical resources.

Paper ID: P151

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