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Friday, August 24, 2007

UNICORE 6.0: WSRF-Based Implementation of UNICORE Grid Middleware

In science and industry today, computing and data resources are often
widely distributed across different systems, sites or even countries.
To make effective use of such a distributed infrastructure, end users
rely on tools that provide easy and uniform access. The new release of
UNICORE, the well-established European Grid middleware, provides a
modern, lean software stack that implements an extensible
service-oriented architecture compliant to current Web Service
standards. UNICORE 6 will be officially released at the UNICORE Summit
2007 at Rennes, France, on 28-August-2007. On the technical side,
UNICORE 6 complies with the OASIS WSRF 1.2 and OGF JSDL 1.0 standards,
provides pluggable file transfer mechanisms with the OGSA ByteIO
standard as default and uses XFire as a lean, high-performance SOAP
stack in conjunction with the Jetty 6 web server. In the security
domain, authentication and authorisation are based on full X.509
certificates, SAML assertions and XACML 1.0 authorisation policies;
pluggable extensions for proxy certificates and VO management are
provided. With recent fast-paced advances in Grid and Web service
standards and tools, the UNICORE developer community under the
leadership of Forschungszentrum Juelich has developed a major new
version of the UNICORE Grid middleware. UNICORE 6 excels in supporting
leading open standards, interoperability, and easy extensibility
through well-defined interfaces, and it also provides excellent
performance and scalability. The proven guiding principles of UNICORE
have been preserved: seamless and secure access to resources, ease of
use, simple deployment, straightforward support for adding new
applications and user-specific services. UNICORE 6 achieves this
through fully embracing service-oriented design principles and using
a modern tooling stack. The key characteristics of the new UNICORE 6
system are an integrated, complete Grid software stack, strong security,
workflows, openness, extensibility, interoperability, easy installation
and configuration, and support for a wide range of operating systems,
local resource management systems and batch schedulers. The development
versions of UNICORE 6 are already in use in the European projects
Chemomentum, OMII-Europe, and A-WARE. Major Grid infrastructures like
D-Grid and DEISA are expected to upgrade their UNICORE production
installations soon.

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