Craig A. Lee, Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles.
The First IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster Computing and the Grid (CCGrid) was held on May 15-18, 2001, in Brisbane, Australia. CCGrid was hosted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and was organized by the General Co-Chairs George Mohay (QUT) and Rajkumar Buyya (Monash University) with the Program Chair Paul Roe (QUT). CCGrid symposium enjoyed the support of the IEEE Computer Society Task Force on Cluster Computing (TFCC), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and a number of industrial supporters including Sun, IBM, Intel, Akamai, Platform Computing, and MPI Software Technology.
CCGrid focuses on the combined areas of clusters and Grid computing, which share many related technical issues and are both areas of intense interest and rapid growth. Cluster computing has enabled low-cost entry into supercomputing performance by using clusters based on commodity components, such as processors and network infrastructure. Grid computing borrows its name from the analogy with the electrical power grid. The electrical power grid made electricity widely available and easy to use. The "information power Grid" endeavours to make the discovery and sharing of information and resources widely available and easy to use. Clusters and Grids share many communication, scheduling, monitoring, and application development issues, with Grids being the most general case since they can be heterogeneous and open-ended.
Following a traditional structure, the symposium consisted of seven keynote addresses and invited talks, three tutorials, seven workshops, forty-eight technical papers, a poster session, an industry track, and a panel. The keynotes covered the spectrum of important cluster and Grid computing issues: Ian Foster of Argonne National Lab spoke on Grid architecture ("The Anatomy of the Grid: Enabling Scalable Virtual Organizations"), Andrzej Goscinski of Deakin University spoke on cluster organization and management ("Making Parallel Processing on Clusters Efficient, Transparent, and Easy for Programmers"), Satoshi Matsuoka of Tokyo Institute of Technology spoke on programming ("Grid RPC meets Data Grid: Network Enabled Services for Data Farming on the Grid"), Greg Pfister of IBM spoke on a new communication technology ("The Promise of InfiniBand for Cluster Computing"), and finally, Bruce Maggs of Akamai spoke on content delivery ("Global Internet Content Delivery"). The two invited speakers Gul Agha of University of Illinois and Jeff Bradshaw of Boeing have spoke on Actors and Agents technologies for Terraforming the Cyberspace.
The keynotes set the tone for the rest of the symposium. The main symposium technical tracks covered component and agent approaches, Grid computing, scheduling and load balancing, message passing and communication, I/O and databases, performance evaluation, distributed shared memory, and tools for management, monitoring and debugging. The seven workshops presented more recent "work-in-progress" in areas closely related to the technical tracks: agent based cluster and Grid computing, object and component technology for cluster computing, quality of service for global computing, scheduling and load-balancing on clusters, global computing on personal devices, distributed shared memory, and cluster computing education.
Four "best" papers were selected from the proceedings; two grid-oriented papers and two cluster-oriented papers. In the grid category, these were "Optimizing Execution of Component-based Applications Using Group Instances" by Beynon, Kurc, Sussman, and Saltz, and "Armada: A Parallel File System for Computational Grids" by Oldfield and Kotz. In the cluster category, these were "KelpIO: A Telescope-Ready Domain-Specific I/O Library for Irregular Block-Structured Application" by Broom, Fowler, and Kennedy, and "OVM: Out-of-Order Execution Parallel Virtual Machine" by Bosilca, Fedak, and Cappello.
The symposium concluded with a panel: "The Grid: Moving It to Prime Time" that was moderated by David Abramson. Panellists included Satoshi Matsuoka, Craig Lee, Gul Agha, and Bruce Maggs. Besides discussing the myriad of technical issues surrounding the development of effective Grid computing in general, the panel discussed the even more problematic issues of moving grids from the scientific and engineering communities to be part of the mainstream-computing infrastructure that is enveloping the world.
Grid computing has emerged as the predominant approach for wide-area, high-performance computing, but other approaches, such as Peer-to-Peer Computing and CORBA, are also emerging, and these technologies are motivated more by the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. However, these application domains are faced with the same fundamental problems, e.g., resource discovery, scheduling, security, etc., but the solution spaces and potential implementations could be quite different and determined by the commercial marketplace. Hence, the future of cluster and Grid computing will be heavily influenced by how they co-evolve with these other global computing paradigms.
CCGrid 2001 was highly successful by any standards, and especially for a new symposium. It attracted world-renown computer scientists from 28 countries with a high-quality program. CCGrid 2002 has already been announced to be in Berlin, Germany, May 21-24, 2002. Full details are available at http://www.ccgrid.org/ccgrid2002/. For further information on related events hosted by the Task Force on Cluster Computing, see: http://www.ieeetfcc.org/
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