Advanced Resource Connector
NorduGrid logo and monitor screenshot
|Developer(s)||NorduGrid, NeIC, EU projects|
|Stable release||13.11 / 27 November 2013|
|Operating system||Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X|
Advanced Resource Connector (ARC) is a grid computing middleware introduced by NorduGrid. It provides a common interface for submission of computational tasks to different distributed computing systems and thus can enable grid infrastructures of varying size and complexity. ARC includes data staging and caching functionality, developed in order to support data-intensive grid computing. ARC is an open source software distributed under the Apache License.
ARC appeared (and is still often referred to) as the NorduGrid middleware, originally proposed as an architecture on top of the Globus Toolkit optimized for the needs of High-Energy Physics computing for the Large Hadron Collider experiments. First deployment of ARC at the NorduGrid testbed took place in summer 2002, and by 2003 it was used to support complex computations.
The first stable release of ARC (version 0.4) came out in April 2004 under the GNU General Public License. The name "Advanced Resource Connector" was introduced for this release to distinguish the middleware from the infrastructure. In the same year, the Swedish national Grid project Swegrid became the first large cross-discipline infrastructure to be based on ARC.
In 2005, NorduGrid was formally established as a collaboration to support and coordinate ARC development. In 2006 two closely related projects were launched: the Nordic Data Grid Facility, deploying a pan-Nordic e-Science infrastructure based on ARC, and KnowARC, focused on transforming ARC into a next generation Grid middleware.
ARC v0.6 was released in May 2007, becoming the second stable release. Its key feature was introduction of the client library enabling easy development of higher-level applcations. It was also the first ARC release making use of open standards, as it included support for JSDL. Later that year, the first technology preview of the next generation ARC middleware was made available, though was not distributed with ARC itself. The new approach involved switching to a Web service based architecture, and in general a very substantial re-factorisation of the core code.
In 2008, the NorduGrid consortium adopted the Apache License for all ARC components.
The last stable release in the 0-line was ARC v0.8, shipped in September 2009. It eventually included a preview version of the new execution service - the A-REX' - and several other components, like Chelonia, ISIS, Charon' and the arcjobtool GUI.
In parallel to ARC v0.8, the EU KnowARC project released in November 2009 the conceptual ARC NOX suite, which was a complete Grid solution, fully based on Web service technologies. The name NOX actually indicates the release date: November of the Year of the Ox.
In May 2011, NorduGrid released ARC v11.05 (adopting Ubuntu versioning scheme this time). This release marked the complete transition from the old execution service to A-REX and accompanying services. For backwards compatibility with the existing infrastructures, old interfaces for the execution service and the information system were retained.
- Hosting environment:
- HED - hosting environment for Web services (WS)
- Execution services:
- Grid Manager - server providing computing capability
- A-REX - next generation of Grid Manager, WS-based
- Storage services:
- Classic Storage Element - a simple GridFTP-based disk storage
- Chelonia - a lightweight distributed storage solution
- Hopi - a basic HTTP storage front-end
- Information services:
- Classic information server - local service information publishing
- Classic information index - distributed information indexing
- ALIS - local service information publishing, WS-based
- ISIS - distributed information indexing, WS-based
- JURA - job record publisher for A-REX
- Charon - authorization and policy decision service
- Software management:
- Janitor - provisioning of dynamic runtime environments
- ng* job and data CLI - command-line interface for job and data management
- arc* job and data CLI - next generation command-line interface for job and data management, interoperable with other middlewares like gLite and UNICORE
- arcproxy - universal Grid proxy generation utility
- Grid Monitor - graphical interface to the classic information services
- Libraries and API:
- libarcclient - job management and information
- libarcdata2 - data management
- HED security API
ARC is free software available from the NorduGrid public repository, both as binary packages for a variety of Linux systems and source. Source code is also available from the NorduGrid SVN repository.
The open source development of the ARC middleware is coordinated by the NorduGrid collaboration. Contributions to the software, documentation and dissemination activities are coming from the community and from various projects, such as the EU KnowARC and EMI projects, NDGF, NeIC and several national Grid projects.
Standards and interoperability
ARC development follows latest Open Grid Forum standardization guidelines. In particular, ARC implemented JSDL, and through the KnowARC project was promoted to become a service-based solution, conformant with other specifications, such as Glue2, BES, UR/RUS etc..
ARC in various projects and initiatives
European Middleware Initiative
In 2010-2013, several key ARC components - most notably, HED, A-REX, clients and libraries - were included in the European Middleware Initiative (EMI) software stack. Through EMI, ARC became a part of the Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD) of the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI).
Nordic DataGrid Facility
ARC is the basis of the computing infrastructure of the Nordic Data Grid Facility (NDGF). In 2006-2010 NDGF actively contributed to ARC development, and since 2010 provides ARC deployment expertise within EGI. Since 2012, NDGF became a part of the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration.
Grid-enabled Know-how Sharing Technology Based on ARC Services and Open Standards (KnowARC) was a Sixth Framework Programme Specific Targeted Research Project, funded under Priority IST-2005-2.5.4 "Advanced Grid Technologies, Systems and Services" from June 2006 to November 2009. It was initiated by the NorduGrid and brought together 11 participants from 8 European countries. The goal of the project was making ARC based on open community standards. Goals were:
- creation of a novel, powerful Next Generation Grid middleware based on ARC;
- promotion Grid standardization and interoperability;
- contributing to the take-up of Grid technologies.
KnowARC was the main group developing the ARC software since the project began in 2006. Apart from its main aim of further developing ARC, it contributed to the development of standards, and increased Grid and ARC usage in medicine and bioinformatics.
- Ellert, Mattias; et al. (February 2007). "Advanced Resource Connector middleware for lightweight computational Grids". Future Generation Computer Systems 23 (2): 219–240. doi:10.1016/j.future.2006.05.008.
- ARC 0.8 Release Notes
- Ellert, Mattias; Konstantinov, Aleksandr; Kónya, Balázs; Smirnova, Oxana; Wäänänen, Anders (2003). "The NorduGrid project: using Globus toolkit for building GRID infrastructure". Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A (Elsevier Science B.V.) 502 (2–3): 407–410. doi:10.1016/S0168-9002(03)00453-4.
- Wäänänen, Anders; Ellert, Mattias; Konstantinov, Aleksandr; Kónya, Balázs (2002). "An Overview of an Architecture Proposal for a High Energy Physics Grid". In Fagerholm, Juha; Haataja, Juha; Järvinen, Jari; Lyly, Mikko; Råback, Peter; Savolainen, Ville. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2367. Springer. pp. 76–86. doi:10.1007/3-540-48051-X_9.
- Eerola, Paula; et al. (2003). "Atlas Data-Challenge 1 on NorduGrid". Proceedings of 2003 Conference for Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics. arXiv:physics/0306013.
- ARC 0.4 Release Notes
- "SweGrid gets set for future challenges". CERN Courier. 2004.
- NorduGrid Web site
- ARC 0.6 Release Notes
- KnowARC report D5.1-2_07
- NeIC Web site
- KnowARC fact-sheet, EU IST database
- Hämmerle, Hannelore; Crémel, Nicole (November 2006). "KnowARC project gets going". CERN Courier (Geneva, Switzerland) 46 (11): 12.
- KnowARC partners list
- KnowARC Web site
- Smirnova, Oxana; et al. (2009). "ARC middleware:evolution towards standards-based interoperability". To appear in Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics.
- Field, Laurence; Andreozzi, Sergio; Kónya, Balázs (2008). "Grid Information System Interoperability: The Need For A Common Information Model". Proceedings of the IEEE Fourth International Conference on eScience: 501–507. doi:10.1109/eScience.2008.159.
- Zhou, Xin; et al. (2009). "An Easy Setup for Parallel Medical Image Processing: Using Taverna and ARC". Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (IOS Press) 147: 41–50. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-027-8-41. PMID 19593043.
- Krabbenhöft, Hajo; Möller, Steffen; Bayer, Daniel (2008). "Integrating ARC grid middleware with Taverna workflows". Bioinformatics (Oxford University Press) 24 (9): 1221–1222. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btn095. PMID 18353787.
- "KnowARC Project Brings Grids to Debian". HPC Wire. July 9, 2009.
- Qiang, Weizhong; Konstantinov, Aleksandr (June 2009). "Towards cross-middleware authentication and single sign-on for ARC Grid middleware". Computer Science - Research and Development (Springer) 23 (3–4): 267–274. doi:10.1007/s00450-009-0084-6.
- Anderlik, Csaba; Gregersen, Anders Rhod; Kleist, Josva; Peters, Anders; Saiz, Pablo (2008). "ALICE-ARC Integration". Journal of Physics: Conference Series (IOP Publishing) 119 (062006): 6pp. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/119/6/062006.
- Jensen, Henrik Thostrup; Kleist, Josva; Leth, Jesper Ryge (2005). "A Framework for Job Management in the NorduGrid ARC Middleware". Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer) 3470: 861–871. doi:10.1007/11508380_88.
- NorduGrid official website for the Advanced Resource Connector middleware
- KnowARC, EU project contributing to the Advanced Resource Connector middleware development
- Nordic DataGrid Facility, a Nordic project contributing to the Advanced Resource Connector middleware development
- "Swegrid". (Sweden)
- "FGI".: Finish Grid Infrastructure
- "Norgrid". (Norway)
- "SwiNG".: Swiss National Grid Association
- Open Grid Forum, the home of Grid standards
- "NeIC".: Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration