ORAGE is a research project financed by the Walloon Region in the scope of the Objective 1 Phasing out. Through this project, launched in 2001, CETIC has developed its expertise in the field of distributed systems. ORAGE was initiated from Mozart, a distributed systems development platform developed in part by the UCL Département d’Ingénierie Informatique. CETIC has studied generic components around Mozart in order to ensure proper fault tolerance in distributed modes, shared memory management, distributed computing based on a peer-to-peer communication model and a distributed storage system. CETIC has studied Grid technologies for several years through European research projects. Since 2007, the research team has also taken into account higher-level services aspects such as Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA).
In the scope of the ORAGE project, CETIC has contributed to Grid technology research in an effort to standardise the execution platforms for distributed systems.
In 2008, CETIC continued developing its expertise in Grid middleware, notably with the Globus Toolkit and its monitoring & discovery systems (MDS) module to allow more efficient computing resource management. Fura middleware, the Platform Symphony environment and Proactive framework were also studied. CETIC’s experience helped a major Belgian bank evaluate the adoption of Grid infrastructure and adapt existing distributed applications to Grid middlewares. The project has also further developed the authentication aspects via credentials, or public keys (PKI) and standard job submission methods using the RSL, JDSL & DRMAA formats. In this same year, CETIC evaluated Microsoft’s new version of high-performance computing solution: the Compute Cluster Server (CCS) 2008. CETIC participated in the Grid@Mons event in May 2008, presenting attendees with technical requirements for Grid use in a business environment.
The spread of SOA architectures has brought the concept of Web Services to Grid interface tools, allowing them to be more independent from the Grid services implementation languages and offering network functionalities. This evolution, combining resource management (Grid) with services (SOA), is known as Services Oriented Knowledge Utilities (SOKU). The knowledge acquisition process in Web Services development tools and interoperability tests between Web Services and Grid were performed on CETIC’s cluster between 2007 and 2008.
Important maintenance tasks were performed on the CETIC cluster. In particular, the administration nodes’ operating system and monitoring were updated, offering a much improved stability, especially for the storage bay. Fault detection was also enhanced in order to install a preventive maintenance system. Finally, an automated backup for the administration nodes was also implemented.