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CRPC-Edited Grid Proclaimed 'A Source for the History of the Future'

CRPC researchers Ian Foster of Argonne National Laboratory and Carl Kesselman of the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California are co-editors of the recently released book, The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure. Written by more than 30 experts in high-performance computing and networking, the book provides a vision of what computational grids are, why they are needed, who will use them, and how they will be programmed.

"This is a source book for the history of the future," said Vint Cerf, senior vice president of Internet architecture and engineering at MCI Communications.

The Grid promises to fundamentally change the way people think about and use computing. The 550-page book features 22 chapters that explain in detail how the grid infrastructure will connect multiple regional and national computational grids. This will create a universal source of pervasive and dependable computing power that supports dramatically new classes of applications.

Authors of The Grid include CRPC Director Ken Kennedy and CRPC researchers Francine Berman, Jack Dongarra, Dennis Gannon, Paul Messina, and Daniel Reed. The book is introduced by Larry Smarr, director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and director of the National Computational Science Alliance, who puts the grid in context. "The notion of linking people, computers, sensors, and data with networks is decades old," he wrote. "However, this is the first attempt to bring together in one place so many experts in all the areas of hardware, software, and applications necessary to construct a persistent national-scale grid."

"The grid is the next evolutionary step for supercomputing," said reviewer Jim Gray of Microsoft Research. "The book contains essays by the architects of that vision. They explain that building the grid will require breakthroughs in many areas, and they present a research agenda to approach and solve these problems."

Foster and Kesselman are acknowledged authorities in grid technologies. Foster led the research and development of software for the 1995 I-WAY wide-area distributed computing experiment, which connected supercomputers, databases, and other high-end resources at 17 sites across North America. Together, they lead Globus, a research and development project advancing the technology and application of high-performance distributed computing by developing new software tools. They recently won the Global Information Infrastructure Next Generation Award for Globus Ubiquitous Supercomputing Testbed (GUSTO).

The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure is available from Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.