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NMI Release 8 Now Available

Grid and federated identity management software and resources ease the use and development of research tools for the advancement of science and engineering

October 18, 2005 - Working with research communities to provide development and access management tools for Grid and other research environments, the eighth release of the National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative (NMI-R8) helps to facilitate the complex resource management and security required in a shared cyberinfrastructure. NMI-R8 is available to the public for downloading under open-source licenses at the NMI website.

NMI-R8 marks two important "firsts" for the NMI program: the addition and integration of Ninf-G, the first non- U.S. developed component included in the GRIDS Center software suite; and GridShib, the first software enabling interoperability between the Globus(r) Toolkit and Shibboleth(r) federating software.

Ninf-G is a GridRPC reference implementation developed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan. "Tanaka-san and the co-developers of Ninf-G are very active in both the Global Grid Forum's GridRPC group and PRAGMA (Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly). GGF drives Grid Standards and PRAGMA provides a collaborative environment for an international group of scientists to practically apply grid technologies to their applications by sharing software and experiences." said Philip Papadopoulos, Program Director, Grid and Cluster Computing at San Diego Supercomputer Center. "Through PRAGMA, we learned how researchers in Japan and Asia Pacific were making productive use of Ninf-G and believed that this could be very useful software for the NSF Middleware audience. With the integration of Ninf-G into the GRIDS Center stack, we're also learning about the practical issues of sharing and supporting software across borders and languages and see this activity as an important pilot study."

Another featured component, GridShib, enables interoperability between the Globus Toolkit and Shibboleth federating software. Using this package, researchers who are members of both brick-and-mortar institutions and Globus-enabled virtual organizations can use their local campus credentials to access their distributed Grid-based resources. GridShib is included in the NMI-EDIT release.

Additional NMI-EDIT components include the new Enterprise Authentication Implementation Roadmap, a process and set of recommendations for readying institutional authentication infrastructures for use in federations and other inter-organizational trust relationships. New software versions are available for both the Signet and PERMIS privilege management systems and the Grouper group management tools. NMI-R8 comprises a total of fourteen updated NMI-EDIT tools, software packages, practice documents, and schema that support institutional and federated identity management environments.

The current release of the GRIDS Center software suite includes binary packages for ten Unix-like platforms and features updated versions of Condor-G, Globus Toolkit, MyProxy, GridPort, pyGlobus, UberFTP and gx-map. Like the previous release, NMI-R8 includes two versions of the Storage Resource Broker Client: the latest available, and a TeraGrid-compatible version. The stack is flexible because the components are bundled together as one easy-to-deploy package. Once installed, only the parts of interest need to be configured.

The latest release from another NMI systems integrator team, the Open Grid Computing Environments (OGCE) consortium, provides a JSR 168-compliant portal platform and supports the GRIDS Center Software Suite via integration with the WSRF based on GT4. OGCE builds on the Grid-service specifications to enable the creation of Grid portals or Web-based user interfaces that simplify the process of identifying and accessing Grid resources.

In September 2001, the first NMI systems integrator teams, GRIDS Center and NMI-EDIT, began work along with a number of smaller development awards. Along with the continued funding of its original teams, the OGCE, the Common Instrument Middleware Architecture (CIMA) team, and several new experimental projects were added in 2003. After eight releases of software, tools, and practices, NMI is at the leading edge of the growing cyberinfrastructure established to support next generation science and engineering.

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Media Contacts:
Ann West (906-487-1726,
awest@educause.edu), NMI-EDIT

For more information:
NMI-EDIT Consortium: http://www.nmi-edit.org
OGCE Team: http://www.collab-ogce.org/nmi/index.jsp
CIMA Team: http://www.instrumentmiddleware.org/


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