Scenarios of Next Generation Grid Applications in Collaborative EnvironmentsA Business-Technical Analysis

Scenarios of Next Generation Grid Applications in Collaborative EnvironmentsA Business-Technical Analysis

Vassilikil Andronikou (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Dimosthenis Kyriazis (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Magdalini Kardara (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), Dimitrios Halkos (National Technical University of Athens, Greece) and Theodora Varvarigou (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-364-7.ch003
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Abstract

The Grid has the potential to make a significant advance beyond the Internet, by turning it from a passive information medium into an active tool for creating and exploring new knowledge. Nowadays, this potential is becoming a reality and is emerging to Next Generation Grids (NGG) thanks to the far more cost-effective and universally applicable technology. Taking into consideration that Grids started delivering benefits to their adopters, this book chapter focuses on providing a business–technical presentation of two potential NGG applications, from two competitive and highly dynamic markets, including complex collaborations, which have shown rapid growth over the past decades; the supply chain management and the Cargo Transportation Logistics. The authors present a set of NGG components, the adoption of which in the aforementioned application domains addresses efficiently a set of technical issues ranging from performance to dynamic negotiation, and tackle the main trends and challenges in the corresponding business sectors.
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Introduction

Although initially designed to cover the needs of computational-intensive applications (Foster, Kesselman, & Tuecke, 2001; Leinberger & Kumar, 1999), Grid technology of nowadays aims at providing an infrastructure that can also service the needs of the business domain. Advanced infrastructure requirements combined with the innate business goals for lower costs and higher income are driving key business sectors such as multimedia, engineering, gaming, environmental science, among others towards adopting Grid solutions into their business. The various entities in the value chains pose different requirements with each one benefiting in a different way. Software vendors and solution integrators need to proceed with the “gridification” of their current applications so that the integration of them in Grid environments is feasible. Service providers pose strict requirements ranging from manageability to accounting and billing. The final success of this business orientation of Grid technology however will primarily depend on its real adopters; the end users who demand transparency, reliability, security and easiness-to-use. Especially in the case of business collaboration systems, the main focus of all parties involved in the collaboration is on lowering the costs and automating and standardizing communication as well as making the upgrade and maintenance processes less complex.

This shift from Science Grids to Business Grids resulted in advanced requirements in Service Level Agreement (SLA) management, data management, Grid portals (as interfaces) and Virtual Organizations (VO) management among others combined with re-prioritization of the non-functional requirements of the systems with security, reliability and scalability climbing the higher stairs in the hierarchy.

In the meanwhile, collaborative business processes nowadays are still being conducted through traditional means of communication such as fax, phone and e-mail. Even strategic partners with a significant market share and a complex network of partners rely on these means for a part of their transactions. And although electronic communication methods offer some form of automation and have proven to comprise much faster and cheaper ways for information exchange, they still require manual processes on both ends and they are far from providing automated and standardised communication among partners. In fact they suffer from a number of problems including human errors in manual entry of information, information loss, delayed information exchange, complex or limited information sharing, high cost of infrastructure (especially when offering improved reliability through replication mechanisms and supporting duplicate systems and providing security and complex collaborations) and the great effort required to integrate their internal systems to existing solutions.

The vision of Next Generation Grids (NGG) is mainly the development of an infrastructure for enabling new businesses and offering new business opportunities and new ways of work and collaboration through the support of three important business needs posed by the globalization of the world markets; agility, flexibility and robustness (Next Generation GRIDs Expert Group, 2006). More specifically, NGG focuses on delivering an economically viable and efficient infrastructure which will offer the commercially effective use of resources to participating organisations, simplicity of access to and use of Grid technologies and underlying Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms (Tserpes, Kyriazis, Menychtas, & Varvarigou, 2008) and the levels of security and privacy required for confidence boosting. The aforementioned mechanisms are expected to allow the wider adoption of the proposed infrastructure both to the business and industry world as well as to the government domain, the consumers and the public.

Following the evolution in the Grid domain and the current approaches in NGG, as it is presented in this chapter the adoption of Grid solutions in the area of collaborative environments offers the ability to access, process and analyse real-time or ‘near’ real-time business data combined from different, distributed and heterogeneous data sources (including historic data and an extended range of data warehouses) and hence accelerate and improve the result of decision making. Moreover, it provides increased data re-use through the establishment of data federations allowing involving the same data in more than one projects without need for transfer and flexibility in scaling environmental changes.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Mark Baker
Preface
Nik Bessis
Acknowledgment
Nik Bessis
Chapter 1
Enjie Liu, Xia Zhao, Gordon J. Clapworthy
At the heart of the Grid technology is the concept of resource sharing, which includes computers, storage and networks. Grid currently appears to be... Sample PDF
Building Service-Oriented Grid Applications
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Chapter 2
Giuseppe Andronico, Roberto Barbera, Marco Fargetta, Emidio Giorgio, Salvatore Marco, Diego Scardaci
Grid computing allows for the creation of e-infrastructures providing computational power and information storage capabilities needed both by... Sample PDF
Sustainable and Interoperable e-Infrastructures for Research and Business
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Chapter 3
Vassilikil Andronikou, Dimosthenis Kyriazis, Magdalini Kardara, Dimitrios Halkos, Theodora Varvarigou
The Grid has the potential to make a significant advance beyond the Internet, by turning it from a passive information medium into an active tool... Sample PDF
Scenarios of Next Generation Grid Applications in Collaborative EnvironmentsA Business-Technical Analysis
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Chapter 4
Gayathri Nadarajan, Areti Manataki, Yun-Heh Chen-Burger
The infrastructure of Grid is approaching maturity and can be used to enable the utilisation and sharing of large scale, remote data storages... Sample PDF
Semantics-Based Process Support for Grid Applications
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Chapter 5
Rogério Luís de Carvalho Costal, Pedro Furtado
The computational grid offers services for efficiently scheduling jobs on the grid, but for grid-enabled applications where data handling is a most... Sample PDF
Placement and Scheduling over Grid Warehouses
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Chapter 6
Navonil Mustafee, Simon J.E. Taylor
The computational grid offers services for efficiently scheduling jobs on the grid, but for grid-enabled applications where data handling is a most... Sample PDF
Leveraging Simulation Practice in Industry through use of Desktop Grid Middleware
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Chapter 7
Genoveffa Jeni Giambona, Nicholas L.J. Silburn, David W. Birchall
This chapter focuses on the collaborative use of computing resources to support decision making in industry. Through the use of middleware for... Sample PDF
Trust, Virtual Teams, and Grid Technology
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Chapter 8
Rob Smith, Rob Wilson
Flexible and remote working is becoming more and more widespread. In particular, virtual team working is growing rapidly. Although virtual teams... Sample PDF
The Socio-Technical Virtual Organisation
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Chapter 9
Marina Burakova-Lorgnier
A Virtual Organisation (VO) or Virtual Enterprise is a loosely-coupled group of collaborating organisations, acting to some extent as though they... Sample PDF
Modelling Trust–Control Dynamics for Grid-based Communities: A Shared Psychological Ownership Perspective
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Chapter 10
Lu Liu, Nick Antonopoulos
The aim of this chapter is to appreciate the need for and propose some thoughts on modelling trust–control dynamics for communities that use grid... Sample PDF
Small World Architecture for Building Effective Virtual Organisations
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Chapter 11
James Dooley, Andrea Zisman, George Spanoudakis
A Virtual Organisation in large-scale distributed systems is a set of individuals and/or institutions with some common purposes or interests that... Sample PDF
Runtime Service Discovery for Grid Applications
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Chapter 12
Nik Bessis
This chapter describes a framework to support runtime service discovery for Grid applications based on service discovery queries in both push and... Sample PDF
Model Architecture for a User Tailored Data Push Service in Data Grids
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Chapter 13
Eleana Asimakopoulou, Chimay J. Anumba, Bouchlaghem, Bouchlaghem
Much work is under way within the Grid technology community on issues associated with the development of services to foster collaboration via the... Sample PDF
Using Grid Technology for Maximizing Collaborative Emergency Response Decision Making
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Chapter 14
Ahmet Sayar, Geoffrey C. Fox, Marlon E. Pierce
Geographic information is critical for building disaster planning, crisis management, and early-warning systems. Decision making in geographic... Sample PDF
Unified Data Access/Query over Integrated Data-views for Decision Making in Geographic Information Systems
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About the Contributors