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What is a Web Service?

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%.


A Web Service is an interface that describes a collection of operations that are network accessible. They are built on XML based technologies and messaging. They use XML schemas to mark-up and describe services and their operations. Web Services commonly use the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) as a communication protocol over HTTP- when this is not appropriate for performance reasons, a different protocol may be used.

It is the GSA that pulls together Open Grid Architecture and Web Services to form Grid Services. Grid Services are dynamic, transient, and have state, in other words have a finite lifetime, and are defined by a well-defined set of interfaces and behaviors. OGSA interfaces and behaviors describing Grid Services can be written in an XML schema based WSDL document ? other implementations are possible.

Perception of Grid

Since the Grid Architecture involves interoperability and sharing of resources within enterprise and across enterprises, it is often pondered if the Grid is synonymous with Internet or if the grid is an alternative to the Internet. Actually, the Grid is a set of additional protocols and services that build on Internet protocols and services to support the creation and use of computation and data-enriched environments. In addition, it should be noted that any resource that is on the Grid is also, by definition, on the Net.

The Grid is perceived as a source of free CPU cycles. However, Grid computing does not imply unrestricted access to resources; rather it is about controlled sharing. The CPU cycles are normally used and controlled by resource policies defined. Usage of such resources depends on group membership, ability to pay, and so forth.

Grid experts believe that the Grid makes high-performance computers superfluous. The thousands of processors that may be accessible within a Virtual Organization represent a significant source of computational power. This does not imply, however, that traditional high-performance computers are obsolete.

Where Are We on the Grid?

As the Grid is gradually moving into the commercial world, many of the standards are finalized and many of niche software players are churning out software components needed for grid integration.

There are many IT vendors, in every aspect of the grid technology, who have released various strategies and solutions. Figure 2.3 gives an idea of various players in the grid technology.

Figure 2.3: Grid Universe and the Key Players.

For the success and wide adoption of any new technology or new orientation, commercialization efforts are very important. For the Grid to become a widespread technology, in the same way the Internet became a mainstream technology and communication media, it needs to enter or penetrate into the commercial world. Commercialization provides necessary impetus for growth and funding.

There are many signs of Grid commercialization, even though they are at early stages. Some of examples of major business areas where Grid computing is seen as a good fit:

* Life Sciences ? Grid is used for analyzing strings of biological and chemical information.

* Financial Services ? For processing long running, complex financial models and arriving at decisions that are more accurate.

* Higher Education ? For enabling advanced, data and computing intensive research.

* Engineering Services ? In the automotive and aerospace industry, for collaborative design and data intensive testing.

* Government ? For enabling multi-departmental computing projects in both civil and military agencies.

* Collaborative Games ? where many players participate simultaneously and use the computing resources for playing online games.

The following is an interesting case study, which shows the gradual adaptation of this new and revolutionary grid technology into the commercial world. 

 


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.

http://www.rampant-books.com/book_2004_1_10g_grid.htm


 

 
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