The nation has a wide range of unique resources: large experimental facilities such as LIGO and SNS, supercomputer centers, petabyte data archives, high speed Internet, and most importantly the expertise of scientists at labs and universities across the country. “The easy science problems are all done,” says somebody important, “Tomorrow’s scientific breakthroughs in biology, nanotechnology, physics require large multidisciplinary teams and the ability to effectively use the scientific resources distributed around the country.” In fact, all areas of science have the need for bringing resources to the fingertips of the experts in those areas. Connecting scientists, instruments, computing, and data is the Science Grid.

The Science Grid creates the environment that science needs to solve tomorrows problems. It enables innovative approaches to scientific computing through secure remote access to online facilities, high-speed Internet access, distance collaboration, shared petabyte datasets, and large-scale distributed computation.

Scientific communities have need for multiple users to remotely access high performance computing resources and large data archives to perform simulations or to analyze the results of experiments. They need to collaborate with others involved in the simulations or experiments and coordinate the access and use of the resources.

The complex and evolving nature of scientific discovery requires general services that can be combined in many different ways to support different problem solving approaches and the ability to evolve along with the scientific understanding of the problem. Resource management for such dynamic and distributed environments require global naming and authorization services, scalability, fault tolerance, data management, security, authentication, and protection of proprietary data.

The goal of the Science Grid is to provide a common and supported set of services across all the scientific resources so that scientists can easily access, use, and share these resources more efficiently with the larger scientific community.

The design and deployment of large, multi-site Grids are still evolving. The current state-of-the-art in providing persistent and usable Grid services can be seen at the following sites.

Technical Progress

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