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Data Grids

Data Grids are an innovative sweet spot taking advantage of existing computer science concepts in file systems, database systems and grid computing.

Data Grid Management System

A Data Grid Management System (DGMS) is the software system used to manage a Data Grid. Data Grid Management Systems (DGMS), through multiple abstraction mechanisms provide a logical namespace that represents or hides the complexity of distributed data and heterogeneous resources. The logical namespace provoided by DGMS is independent of physical organization of data or storage resources.

The DGMS logical namespace could be used to:

  • share data amongst multiple teams
  • share storage resources amongst multiple teams
  • discover or organize data based on metadata attributes irrespective of the physical organization or distribution of data
  • hide or abstract or insulate physical storage and physical storage protocols from users and applications (helping in storage technology evolution)

A simple analogy would be... Just like DBMS (Database Management System) is used to managed structured data, DGMS is used to manage distributed and unstructured data.

Database : DBMS :=: DataGrid : DGMS

DGMS Usage

The logical namespace provided by DGMS is used to implement data grids, digital libraries, persistent archives and dataflow systems.

DGMS software is being used or developed by multiple organizations. Most academic data centers around the world use one form of a DGMS. Notable federal projects or instituitions that use (or plan to use) DGMS include US National Archives, Library of Congress, LSST Project, NIH BIRN project and so on.

DGMS Future

Just like the academic internet browsers that served as a proof of a simple yet powerful concept of a global logical namespace of documents (used in the web), the academic DGMS software today suggest the potential of a logical namespace formed out of data and storage resources in enterprise-wide collaborations. The future DGMS will be more automatic in terms of managing unstructured data using policies. Event-driven data management (similar to ECA rules) will be used in DGMS.