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The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure (The Elsevier Series in Grid Computing) 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558604759
ISBN-10: 1558604758
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Beyond the Net, say Foster, Kesselman, and a host of impressive contributors, lies the Grid. While the Net allows users everywhere to share information, the Grid will allow users to share raw computing power. The goal is to put full supercomputing capabilities into the hands of anyone who needs it while providing for more efficient use of the supercomputers of tomorrow. The potential benefits to science, government, and business may well be beyond imagination.

Foster and Kesselman have gathered together essays, proposals, and ruminations of more than 30 distinguished stars of the high-speed computing and networking world in order to do four things: make the case for developing computational grids, provide ideas on how such grids may be designed, demonstrate how the grids might be used, and point out the research still needed to make it happen. While the book was written to serve as a possible textbook in advanced networking, it makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the future of network computing.

The text covers Grid applications, the programming tools required, the services that will be provided, and an examination of Grid infrastructure. Despite being the work of so many authors, the chapters are logically arranged so that the knowledge needed to understand one chapter is provided by those that precede it. --Elizabeth Lewis


"This is a source book for the history of the future."
—Vint Cerf, Senior Vice President, Internet Architecture and Engineering, MCI Communications

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Product Details

  • Series: The Elsevier Series in Grid Computing
  • Hardcover: 675 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1st edition (August 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558604758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558604759
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,842,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Grid seems like a book from the future. I've bought over 100 books related to the Internet looking for ideas that could lead to a public company, but this one is the best. The Grid starts with simple comparisons (Chicago came from rail and 'caching' of grain elevators and stock yards) then gets technical. The topics are covered by experts and include distributed computing, sensing,and teleimmersion, programming tools, services, schedulers, resource management, visualization, security, protocols, Quality of Service, operating systems and interfaces. The pen-ultimate section was co-authored by recently deceased Internet Society head Jon Postel, and is my favorite. If covers the past, present and future of network infrastructure. The last section is test beds. At the risk of seeming ungrateful for this gold mine of future net business, there are a few omissions that I missed including the Grid in mixed environments. Low-earth orbit satellites and wireless IP broadband could have been covered, as they will be the very important parts of the Grid. The VR section totals only about ten pages and, surprisingly, doesn't even touch on entertainment applications, though entertainment (including porn) has driven many 'seeds of the grid', including video, CD-ROMs, and streaming video. A few books that might be interesting: Peter Glaser's Solar Power Satellites is very complementary: with cheap power everywhere, the grid can cover the earth, seas and even leap up into space. If you haven't read it already, I'd toss Kurzweil's Age of Intelligent Machines into the Amazon shopping cart to fill in the AI and VR gap. If you want to see how grids could grow into gods, I'd also highly recommend David Zindell's The Wild. I'm open to corresponding about where The Grid goes and grows from here, especially from investors with the know how or desire to capitalize on the new entities that will grow out of the grid, or be used to create it.
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Format: Hardcover
There is a lot of hype these days about the Next Generation Internet (NGI), the National Science Foundation's High Performance Connections Program to very-high broadband connection services (NSF HPC vBNS), and the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development's Internet2 Project (UCAID I2). I'd strongly recommend that anyone who is trying to figure out the what? and why? and who? of the emerging advance networks take time to read "The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure." This weighty volume provides the reader a good baseline about the applications, the programming tools, the services and the infrastructure that is being put into place to serve current and future research and education communities. The book is a collection of articles written by those who are building the various pieces. Some chapters are more easily read than others -- just as some topics are more easily understood. Whether network engineer or manager, there is something here for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't understand some of the critical reviews of this book. The fact is that Grids do exist today and are being used by Research oriented companies. About two dozen companies are already serving clients in the realm of grid computing. Platform Computing, United Devices, and Avaki are just three companies who are helping to create the future of the grid computing. The web succeded because it connected everybody. Until larger grids are contructed for business enterprises I agree that grid computing will not grow. The book does a great job of showing what the future may be like in terms of grid computing. Someday your computing resources will come from your local Grid Computing Company just as you get electricity from your Power Company. How that comes to be is still the ultimate question.
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By A Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Boy, when was VA declared an imagination-free zone? Don't the critical reviewers of this book have any belief in the possibilities afforded by grid computing? To complain that the book is light on technical detail is somewhat churlish, because the purpose of the book was to examine the possibilities, not show you how to code one up in an afternoon at the comfort of your desk.
Can there be any doubt that computing grids will start to become popular in some form or another? I don't think there is any doubt at all. Perhaps when some of the research and early work is complete and the standards agreed, some enterprising author can write a book on grid computing with more technical meat on the bone, but until that work is done, what would be the point? I suspect there just isn't all that much technical detail to point at yet.
To my way of thinking, all the possible uses and configurations of computing grids are still to be discovered. If you are one of the explorers intent on doing something new and different with the technology, then this book is for you. If you are only content to follow the crowd, once all the technical details have been worked out and served up on a plate to you by somebody else, then by all means skip this book and wait for one with more technical gravitas.
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Format: Hardcover
The Grid's most important function is as a manifesto: It says, hey guys, we will plug-in a simple PC into the wall, and we will have at our fingertips any computational power we need. We can simulate a crash of cars with a very fine precision, in program which needs perhaps 4 weeks to run on supercomputers filling a large room.
Some pieces of software, named tools, will find the fastest way to any computer in the world, or to any number of computers in the world, which are available for you. You can hire them, you can lease them, you can pay as you use them. We may even buy a Grid Card, like a plastic calling card, and do all the computing, until the card is depleted.
All it will be possible. One day, every single supercomputer in the world will be part of the GRID making money for its owners.
How people will collaborate? Here there is a void to be filled by some giant future computer utilities corporations, not yet born. AOL can become one of them, and increase its size hundreds of times. The telecom giants of today can take leadership. Or some new start up, a name no one has heard yet, will become the code named GRID Inc.
But the GRID Inc. (my own fiction) is not a fiction in 'The Grid' edited by Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman: the reader sees the blueprint. In the next edition, we would love to add the chapter for the Global Resources Director (GRD) a software that optimizes resources in a distributed heterogeneous environment.
The people minds shift. Computer Power as electricity? Will we have at home a power-meter measured in a computing unit, something equivalent to Kilowatts? Why not?.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the GRID is coming. Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman are the first to announce it.
The rest is history.
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