Wins R&D 100 Award
Toolkit 2.0 has won a coveted R&D 100 Award for 2002 as
one of the past year's most technologically significant
innovations. The Globus Project's software for Grid
computing is a key GRIDS Center component of the NSF Middleware
Initiative (NMI) release.
Magazine has made the awards annually since 1963.
Prior winners have included Polacolor film (1963), the automated
teller machine (1973), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine
(1975), the liquid crystal display (1980), the antismoking
nicotine patch (1992), Taxol anticancer drugs (1993), and
HDTV (1998). See
for a history of the awards.
As a further honor, the Globus Toolkit won an "Editors' Choice"
award for "Most Promising New Technology" at the R&D 100 Awards
ceremony on October 16 at Navy Pier in Chicago. The new issue of
Research and Development Magazine features stories about the
The "de Facto Standard" for Grid
The Globus Toolkit is central to distributed
computing, one of the hottest topics in information technology.
Seemingly each day brings a new magazine or newspaper story about
the commercial impact of Grids, and specifically about the Globus
Project software that The New York Times recently called
the "de facto standard" for Grid computing.
The 2002 R&D 100 award brings further
recognition to Globus Project leaders Ian Foster, associate
director of the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Mathematics and Computer Science Division
(MCS) and computer science professor at the University of Chicago; Steve Tuecke, lead architect in the MCS Distributed Systems
Laboratory (DSL); and their colleague, Carl Kesselman, director of
the Center for Grid Technologies at the University of Southern
California's Information Sciences Institute. Foster and
Kesselman are among the GRIDS Center principal investigators for
Since its 1996 inception, the
project has been dedicated to the open-source philosophy of
sharing resources to maximize progress and community benefits. The
toolkit -- which includes
software services and libraries for resource monitoring,
discovery, and management, plus security and file
management -- is now central to science and engineering projects
that total nearly a half-billion dollars internationally, and it
is the substrate on which many companies are building significant
commercial Grid products.
To coincide with the November 2001 release of
Globus Toolkit 2.0, eight firms -- Compaq, Cray, SGI, Sun,
Veridian, Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC -- announced they will develop
an optimized form of the toolkit for their operating platforms as
a path toward secure, distributed, multi-vendor Grid computing.
Three other companies -- Entropia, IBM, and Microsoft --
simultaneously announced expansions of previous commitments to the
Globus Project. Platform Computing has since released a
commercially supported version of the toolkit.
IBM has since joined in development of the
next-generation Globus Toolkit 3.0, to be based on Open
Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) specifications being drafted
by Foster, Tuecke, Kesselman and IBM colleagues. IBM compares its
commitment to the Globus Project with its earlier move to support
the Linux operating system, a successful effort begun in 2000 and
slated for $1 billion in near-term investment. So the Globus
Toolkit is clearly "big business," even if its creators
are not motivated by personal profit.
"All of our industrial participants are
committed to contributing modifications to the Globus Toolkit
open-source code base," said ANL's Foster, who is also a
University of Chicago (U of C) computer science professor and a
fellow of the ANL/U of C Computational Institute. "Our vision
of seamlessly sharing distributed resources is now within reach
for most businesses, thanks to the increasing affordability and
speed of desktop computers and of commodity networks that can be
aggregated to deliver supercomputer-level performance."