Some existing data-grid projects:
These projects provide access to large amounts of distributed data (reaching terabytes or petabytes) for scientific and engineering applications. The size of data collections can only grow as new experiments and computational systems require higher capacity storage for results and simulation of large systems. The Access Grid (AG) ,  is a collaborative research environment with potential for distributed data and visualization across networks and platforms. However currently AG is used predominantly for videoconferencing with PowerPoint presentations. To extend the Access Grid beyond simple meeting scenarios and towards true collaborative working, we need to enable the incorporation of large data sets and collections into the AG environment.
We plan to achieve this goal by augmenting the collaborative capabilities offered by Access Grid with the Storage Resource Broker (SRB) , . The SRB is a middle-ware data-grid technology that provides a uniform interface to large heterogeneous data collections. With it powering the majority of data-grid projects around the world, augmenting AG with SRB allows potential access to extensive amount of existing distributed data (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Merging of the Access Grid with Storage Resource Broker
There will be several stages for the integration of the SRB technology into the Access Grid: shared application, data store service, and search service. Each are described in detail below.
The first stage will be the development of a file-system manager as a shared application for use in the Access Grid. The client initiated shared application links the Access Grid with the SRB provided data. The initial shared application will essentially provide shared data provided by one user to one or more users. With the addition of zoneSRB, these shared data could be linked together through federation of SRB servers and/or zones . See Figure 2 for the overall system architecture.
Shared Application System Architecture
The next stage is a more seamless interface between AG and SRB - the integration of SRB technology into the AG Data Store service. This makes heterogeneous and distributed data available to users as a hierarchical file-system in the 'Data' section of the AG Venue Client. Shared applications within the venue could then easily access the data provided by SRB.
The ability to quickly and easily search through large data sets and collections is highly desirable. In the future we plan to investigate innovative search methods that are suitable to distributed data in data-grids. These could be SQL based or natural language based queries.
Figure 3. Prototype SRB Browser
Figure 4. Updated SRB Browser
Interface in the AG
EXTENDED (In development)
for AG Toolkit 3.02 (or later) and
SRB Version 3.4.2
Python-SRB bindings source code:
Python-SRB bindings binary packages built with Python 2.3:
With a tight integration between the AG and SRB we bring new and exciting possibilities for the Access Grid. The seamless access to data-grids and the large data sets within them enables the development of "global" applications. Many innovative applications are possible.
They could include:
 The Access Grid Project @ UQ VisLab
 Access Grid official site
 The SRB Project @ UQ VisLab
 SDSC Storage Resource Broker official site
 SRB zones @ UQ VisLab
 Shared Scientific Applications for the
Access Grid @ UQ VisLab
 SRB for large data handling in the Access Grid, 2007 AG Retreat
- Last updated August 3, 2007 -