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Grid Software Components

Oracle RAC Cluster Tips by Burleson Consulting

This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters.  To get immediate access to the code depot of working RAC scripts, buy it directly from the publisher and save more than 30%.

It is important to understand that it is the software that makes the realization of Grid Computing. Even though there are many suitable hardware components lined up in the grid environment, it is the software component that glues all of these hardware resources into one usable grid framework. There are various software components which run the basic functioning of the grid system. The important software components include management software, donor software, and submission software.

A typical application when executed functions on a server and uses the resources such as memory processes and storage attached to the server. When the same application intends to utilize the resources from other servers in the grid, it needs to interact with the middleware and its API?s in order to extend its reach to utilize the resources.

Management Software

The Management component keeps track of resources available to the grid and also keeps track of the users or applications that can use them. This component decides the computing locations, which are available for the job?s execution, decides the assignment pattern and keeps track of utilization levels of the servers.

This information is used to schedule jobs in the grid. Such information is also used to determine the health of the grid by alerting personnel to problems such as outages, congestion, or over commitment.

Donor Software

Each of the Grid machines participating in the grid framework typically contributes the resources. It needs to have some kind of agent grid software that manages the grid?s use of its resources. That software also manages the authentication procedures. The participating machine is a donor machine and it will have donor software.

Submission Software

Usually any member machine of a grid can be used to submit jobs to the grid and initiate grid queries. However, in some grid systems, this function is implemented as a separate component installed on submission nodes or submission clients. When a grid is built using dedicated resources rather than scavenged resources, separate submission software is usually installed on the user?s desktop or workstation.

Open Grid Services Architecture

The Grid software is a crucial piece in combining multiple and varied resources into a homogenous and usable computing platform. Since there are many different operating systems and hardware components involved, standards and suitable API for the applications to interact are essential. 

Over the years, many standards for grid computing have evolved and many leading researchers and IT vendors have contributed common specifications. The Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) represents an evolution towards a Grid system architecture based on Web services concepts and technologies. With the release of Globus Tool Kit 3.0 (GT3), the Globus Project now offers an open source implementation of version 1 of the OGSI (Open Grid Services Infrastructure) Specification is a key building block in the OGSA framework.

GT3 includes standards and software that provides Grid Security (GSI), remote job submission and control (GRAM), high-performance secure data transfer (GridFTP), and consistent interfaces to system and service information (MDS). All of the components provided by the Globus Tool Kit Version-2 for building Grid infrastructures and for developing Grid applications remain available in GT3. GT3 has strong support from vendors.

The OGSA effort provides basic services and the grid community is developing integrated services. OGSA describes a set of implementation and platform independent protocols and services. These classify technology and infrastructure of the next generation of Grids defined in terms of Grid Services, closely allied to Web Services, which supports the sharing and coordinated use of diverse resources in dynamic distributed virtual organizations.


This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters, Rampant TechPress, by Mike Ault and Madhu Tumma.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.


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