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Figure B-3 World Community Grid: Architecture
The administration team
Of course, this platform cannot be installed, configured, hosted, and maintained
without a team of qualified IT professionals, who will also take the applications
identified by the World Community Grid advisory board and prepare them to run
on the grid.
In order to complete the design of the World Community Grid, hardware and
software products have to be chosen for each architectural component.
World Community Grid Web Servers
According to the architecture design, these servers are to be the front ends of the
World Community Grid Web site; their purpose is to serve static pages only, and
forward dynamic pages requests to the World Community Grid Application
For reasons of costs and maintenance, the selected servers were IBM ^
xSeries, with Linux as the operating system.
Appendix B. World Community Grid 159
As for the Web server software, it seemed a natural choice to go with WebSphere
Application Server; this product may seem inappropriate, since it is to be used
only for serving static pages, but on the other hand, it provides network
deployment and administration features that are a definite value-add, especially
in terms of implementation and hosting of the World Community Grid
infrastructure. Moreover, it would not make much sense to choose different
products for the front-end servers and the back-end servers.
World Community Grid Application Servers
The purpose of these servers is to relieve the front ends of all dynamic content,
including database access and code execution.
For reasons listed above, these servers should be IBM ^ xSeries running
Linux as well.
The WebSphere Application Server is IBM's premier Web application server. It
provides servlet and JSP™ processors, which includes support for JSP
templates. It supports J2EE applications containing Enterprise Java Beans
(EJBs) along with Bean and Container Managed Persistence (BMP/CMP). It also
includes support for Web services through various protocols.
World Community Grid Storage Resources
These servers are to handle all data storage related activity for both the World
Community Grid Web site and the grid-enabled applications.
Since a considerable amount of data is expected, the selected servers to host
both databases were IBM Shark Enterprise Storage Servers running DB2
database software on AIX/pSeries technologies. In addition to their robustness
and proven maturity, they fit perfectly in an all-IBM servers architecture, and can
be easily managed by IBM Managed Storage Services (MSS).
MSS offers flexible and scalable storage networking solutions for midrange
server environments. Storage capacity "on demand," backup/restore, and
management services are available as fee-based services. Hosted storage
resources receive the benefits of Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network
Attached Storage (NAS) technologies as part of an integrated solution.
160 Grid Computing Products and Services
World Community Grid platform
These servers are the core of the World Community Grid. In order to make these
servers homogenous with the rest of the infrastructure, they were also specified
as xServers running Linux.
In terms of software, the grid infrastructure product that would be part of the
World Community Grid had to demonstrate sizeable client counts and satisfy as
many of the following criteria as possible:
– Good level of maturity, especially on open Internet usage
– Ability to run multiple applications concurrently, depending on the
– Contributed resource evaluation system included (to keep track of the
– Collaborative features provided (teams)
– Non-intrusive technology
– Easy installation and configuration of software
– Low disk space, memory, and bandwidth required
– Ability to communicate through a firewall
– Automatic update of the client software
– Protection against spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks
– Communication secured by mutual handshake and encryption
After reviewing several products, and because previous collaborations had
turned out to be definite success (in particular, the Smallpox Research Grid
Project), IBM decided to trust the United Devices MP platform. For more
information, please refer to the following Web site: