The Globus Alliance conducts research and development to develop the technology, standards, and systems that form the Grid: a computing architecture that enables distributed collaboration for business, science, engineering, and other human enterprises. A Grid lets people share computing power, databases, and other on-line tools securely across corporate, institutional, and geographic boundaries without sacrificing local autonomy.
Based at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute, the University of Chicago, the University of Edinburgh, the Swedish Center for Parallel Computers, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the Alliance produces open-source software that is central to science and engineering activities totalling nearly a half-billion dollars internationally and is the substrate for significant Grid products offered by leading IT companies. The Globus Alliance Affiliates program recognizes the participation of other important organizations as contributors or as users.
The Globus Toolkit includes software services and libraries for distributed security, resource management, monitoring and discovery, and data management. Its latest version, GT4, includes components for building systems that follow the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) framework defined by the Global Grid Forum (GGF), of which the Globus Alliance is a leading member. GT4's components and software development tools also comply with the Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF), a set of standards in development in OASIS.
Just as the Web has revolutionized access to information, the Globus Alliance aims to achieve a similar result in computation. New types of applications will be possible when accessing supercomputers, live satellite imagery, mass storage and other on-line resources becomes as straightforward as using the Web. That is the promise of Grid computing.