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November / December 2004

The following news about distributed computing is from the Grid Research, Integration, Deployment and Support Center (GRIDS), part of the National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative (NMI). Subscribe to the GRIDS Center Newsletter by sending e-mail to with "subscribe news" in the body of the message.

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Running Condor-G in NMI
This document describes configuration tasks that may be necessary for running and validating Condor-G as part of the NMI bundle.


Monitoring Clusters and Grids
This article compares several common monitoring tools used to disseminate information about the performance of clusters and Grids. It also explores which features to consider in selecting one for a given environment.

Maximizing Your Globus Toolkit GridFTP Server
This article addresses the question of how to speed up your Globus Toolkit™ GridFTP server by improving the performance of various hardware subsystems and your network.

News from Around the Grid

NCSA to Lead GridShib Project
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) will lead a project to integrate two key NMI (NSF Middleware Initiative)-developed software products. NCSA and collaborators at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago will receive $1 million to combine the strengths of Shibboleth, developed by the Internet2 cooperative, with the Globus Toolkit™. Shibboleth authenticates users, using local authentication mechanisms that users are already accustomed to, and sends secured messages regarding the user's attributes. Typically these messages are sent to a Web server, and the attributes are used to determine which areas of a website a person can access. The project is known as GridShib. The GridShib team aims to enable Grid services software, such as the Globus Toolkit, to understand and act on the Shibboleth messages, determining which information a user can access, which instruments he can use, etc.

GlobusWORLD 2005 Preliminary Program Now Available
The preliminary conference program for GlobusWORLD 2005 is now accessible through the GlobusWORLD Web site. Confirmed speakers include Ian Foster (co-founder, The Globus Alliance), Srinivas Koushik (Global CIO, Nationwide Insurance), Kelvin Droegemeier (Director, Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma), and Chris Lindquist (Technology Editor, CIO Magazine), among others. GlobusWORLD will be held February 7-11, 2005 in Boston, MA. See below for current registration information.

Gridbus Project to Release ExcelGrid Software
ExcelGrid is a tool that helps in extending Microsoft Excel from the desktop to enterprise and global Grids as they provide the benefits of improved job execution speed and result in getting processing done faster. It provides a front-end to a Grid via Excel spreadsheet and performs user-defined computations on enterprise Grids created using Alchemi and global Grids built using Gridbus coupled with Globus, UNICORE and also Alchemi technologies. It allows users to run jobs on remote computers, using an easy-to-use GUI, and retrieve the results via the standard Excel spreadsheet interface. The ExcelGrid plug-in is developed by the Gridbus Project, Grid Computing and Distributed Systems (GRIDS) Lab, Dept. of Computer Science and Software Engineering, the University of Melbourne, Australia. The project is partially supported by Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant, Storage Technology and the University of Melbourne.

Industry-First Grid Computing Resource Guide on the Horizon
Grid Strategies Inc, a provider of strategic marketing, market relations and business development services in the HPC and Grid computing markets, has announced a milestone document to support wider-spread development and adoption of Grid computing: the first comprehensive Grid Computing Resource Guide. Designed for IT editors and reporters, IT decision makers, and enterprise computing innovators, the guide will include complete listings of the suppliers of Grid hardware, middleware and enabling technology; information on the leading integration consultants; and descriptions of notable installations. In addition, the guide will offer opinion and insight articles, along with descriptions of successful Grid solutions covering a range of industries, from life sciences to financial services. This guide will be published in both hard copy and online versions and will be available in the spring of 2005.

New Distributed Computing Toolbox Released by the MathWorks
The MathWorks has introduced its new Distributed Computing Toolbox, which enables engineers and scientists to execute MATLAB® algorithms and Simulink® models in a cluster of computers. The Distributed Computing Toolbox dramatically decreases the overall execution time of those applications in which the same algorithm or model is run with different input data. This latest innovation represents a significant step for The MathWorks in the emerging area of distributed computing.

New Development Release of Globus Toolkit™ (3.9.3)
A new development release (3.9.3) of the Globus Toolkit is now available, in advance of the upcoming major release 4.0. Globus Toolkit 3.9.3 features improvements to and updates of several components. It also includes MyProxy and GSI-enabled OpenSSH for the first time, as well as a complete reimplementation of the GridFTP server.

External Conferences, Workshops,
Events, and Calls for Papers

Advance Registration for GlobusWORLD 2005 Now Open
Advance registration is now in progress for GlobusWORLD 2005, to be held February 7-11, 2005 in Boston, MA. Viewed by many as the most important Grid event of the year, GlobusWORLD features intensive training, informative presentations and interactive panels delivered by the industry's leading experts.

LSGRID 2005 Call for Papers
The 2005 International Workshop on Life Sciences Grid (LSGRID 2005) welcomes the submission of original manuscripts addressing the problem of Grid Systems for Life Sciences. Authors should report relevant experiences, present novel approaches to existing problems and raise important novel issues. The workshop will be held May 5-6, 2005, in Singapore, in conjunction with Grid Asia (May 2-6, 2006). Abstracts for posters should be submitted by December 31, 2004, and abstracts for papers by January 31, 2005.

Linux Cluster Institute Workshop to be Held at UIUC
The Linux Cluster Institute (LCI)  Workshop will be held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 1-4, 2005. This workshop will showcase the new 3.5-day agenda. The deadline for registration is February 4, 2005. Space is limited, so the earlier you register, the better.

GGF 13 Will Be Held in Seoul, South Korea
Global Grid Forum (GGF) 13 will be held March 14-17, 2005, in Seoul, South Korea. The Global Grid Forum is a community-initiated forum of thousands of persons from industry and research who are leading the global standardization effort for Grid computing. GGF's primary objectives are to promote and support the development, deployment, and implementation of Grid technologies and applications via the creation and documentation of "best practices" technical specifications, user experiences, and implementation guidelines. Check the Web site for information about important registration and participation deadlines.

Call for Papers: The Journal of Grid Computing
The Journal of Grid Computing solicits high-quality technical articles on any aspect of Grid computing and related topics. Please visit their Web site or contact the editors at and

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