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The GENIUS Grid Portal and robot certificates: a new tool for e-Science.

Barbera R, Donvito G, Falzone A, La Rocca G, Milanesi L, Maggi GP, Vicario S - BMC Bioinformatics (2009)

Bottom Line: The valuable benefits introduced by robot certificates in e-Science can so be extended to users belonging to several scientific domains, providing an asset in raising Grid awareness to a wide number of potential users.The adoption of Grid portals extended with robot certificates, can really contribute to creating transparent access to computational resources of Grid Infrastructures, enhancing the spread of this new paradigm in researchers' working life to address new global scientific challenges.The evaluated solution can of course be extended to other portals, applications and scientific communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Catania, Via S, Sofia 64, I-95123 Catania, Italy. roberto.barbera@ct.infn.it

ABSTRACT

Background: Grid technology is the computing model which allows users to share a wide pletora of distributed computational resources regardless of their geographical location. Up to now, the high security policy requested in order to access distributed computing resources has been a rather big limiting factor when trying to broaden the usage of Grids into a wide community of users. Grid security is indeed based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) of X.509 certificates and the procedure to get and manage those certificates is unfortunately not straightforward. A first step to make Grids more appealing for new users has recently been achieved with the adoption of robot certificates.

Methods: Robot certificates have recently been introduced to perform automated tasks on Grids on behalf of users. They are extremely useful for instance to automate grid service monitoring, data processing production, distributed data collection systems. Basically these certificates can be used to identify a person responsible for an unattended service or process acting as client and/or server. Robot certificates can be installed on a smart card and used behind a portal by everyone interested in running the related applications in a Grid environment using a user-friendly graphic interface. In this work, the GENIUS Grid Portal, powered by EnginFrame, has been extended in order to support the new authentication based on the adoption of these robot certificates.

Results: The work carried out and reported in this manuscript is particularly relevant for all users who are not familiar with personal digital certificates and the technical aspects of the Grid Security Infrastructure (GSI). The valuable benefits introduced by robot certificates in e-Science can so be extended to users belonging to several scientific domains, providing an asset in raising Grid awareness to a wide number of potential users.

Conclusion: The adoption of Grid portals extended with robot certificates, can really contribute to creating transparent access to computational resources of Grid Infrastructures, enhancing the spread of this new paradigm in researchers' working life to address new global scientific challenges. The evaluated solution can of course be extended to other portals, applications and scientific communities.

Show MeSH
The Users Tracking System (UTS). The accounting system developed on GENIUS Grid Portal to collect and monitor the user's payload produced in Grid.
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Figure 7: The Users Tracking System (UTS). The accounting system developed on GENIUS Grid Portal to collect and monitor the user's payload produced in Grid.

Mentions: Since with this approach the access to a Grid infrastructure is opened to a wide basin of users (just a simple account on the server where the portal runs is needed), in order to enhance the security and monitor the payload produced by users who access the Grid using the portal certificate, an UTS has been designed and deployed in the GENIUS architecture. Based on an underlying MySQL database and on PHP, JavaScript and XML code, the system registers the user's payload generated in Grids by the robot certificate. So far the system has been instructed to catch the following events: opening/closing of user' session and job submission instances. All the accounting data collected by UTS can be examined only by the administrator. Several ad-hoc services, with a restricted policy, have been designed in the portal so as to allow the administrator to interact with the UTS using a web interface only. With the introduction of this additional features it is possible to monitor, in each moment, who is working and what they doing on the grid resources. Figure 7 shows an example of accounting data collected by the system.


The GENIUS Grid Portal and robot certificates: a new tool for e-Science.

Barbera R, Donvito G, Falzone A, La Rocca G, Milanesi L, Maggi GP, Vicario S - BMC Bioinformatics (2009)

The Users Tracking System (UTS). The accounting system developed on GENIUS Grid Portal to collect and monitor the user's payload produced in Grid.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2697645&req=5

Figure 7: The Users Tracking System (UTS). The accounting system developed on GENIUS Grid Portal to collect and monitor the user's payload produced in Grid.
Mentions: Since with this approach the access to a Grid infrastructure is opened to a wide basin of users (just a simple account on the server where the portal runs is needed), in order to enhance the security and monitor the payload produced by users who access the Grid using the portal certificate, an UTS has been designed and deployed in the GENIUS architecture. Based on an underlying MySQL database and on PHP, JavaScript and XML code, the system registers the user's payload generated in Grids by the robot certificate. So far the system has been instructed to catch the following events: opening/closing of user' session and job submission instances. All the accounting data collected by UTS can be examined only by the administrator. Several ad-hoc services, with a restricted policy, have been designed in the portal so as to allow the administrator to interact with the UTS using a web interface only. With the introduction of this additional features it is possible to monitor, in each moment, who is working and what they doing on the grid resources. Figure 7 shows an example of accounting data collected by the system.

Bottom Line: The valuable benefits introduced by robot certificates in e-Science can so be extended to users belonging to several scientific domains, providing an asset in raising Grid awareness to a wide number of potential users.The adoption of Grid portals extended with robot certificates, can really contribute to creating transparent access to computational resources of Grid Infrastructures, enhancing the spread of this new paradigm in researchers' working life to address new global scientific challenges.The evaluated solution can of course be extended to other portals, applications and scientific communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Catania, Via S, Sofia 64, I-95123 Catania, Italy. roberto.barbera@ct.infn.it

ABSTRACT

Background: Grid technology is the computing model which allows users to share a wide pletora of distributed computational resources regardless of their geographical location. Up to now, the high security policy requested in order to access distributed computing resources has been a rather big limiting factor when trying to broaden the usage of Grids into a wide community of users. Grid security is indeed based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) of X.509 certificates and the procedure to get and manage those certificates is unfortunately not straightforward. A first step to make Grids more appealing for new users has recently been achieved with the adoption of robot certificates.

Methods: Robot certificates have recently been introduced to perform automated tasks on Grids on behalf of users. They are extremely useful for instance to automate grid service monitoring, data processing production, distributed data collection systems. Basically these certificates can be used to identify a person responsible for an unattended service or process acting as client and/or server. Robot certificates can be installed on a smart card and used behind a portal by everyone interested in running the related applications in a Grid environment using a user-friendly graphic interface. In this work, the GENIUS Grid Portal, powered by EnginFrame, has been extended in order to support the new authentication based on the adoption of these robot certificates.

Results: The work carried out and reported in this manuscript is particularly relevant for all users who are not familiar with personal digital certificates and the technical aspects of the Grid Security Infrastructure (GSI). The valuable benefits introduced by robot certificates in e-Science can so be extended to users belonging to several scientific domains, providing an asset in raising Grid awareness to a wide number of potential users.

Conclusion: The adoption of Grid portals extended with robot certificates, can really contribute to creating transparent access to computational resources of Grid Infrastructures, enhancing the spread of this new paradigm in researchers' working life to address new global scientific challenges. The evaluated solution can of course be extended to other portals, applications and scientific communities.

Show MeSH