Saturday, 21 May 2011

Grid Computers - Secure access

Grid Computers - Secure access

Secure access

Secure access to shared resources is one of the most challenging areas of grid development.

To ensure secure access, grid developers and users need to manage three important things:

* Access policy - What is shared? Who is allowed to share? When can sharing occur?
* Authentication - How do you identify a user or resource?
* Authorization - How do you determine whether a certain operation is consistent with the rules?

Grids need to efficiently track of all this information, which may change from day to day. This means that grids need to be extremely flexible, and have a reliable accounting mechanism. Ultimately, such accounting will be used to decide pricing policies for using a grid.

These accounting challenges are not new - the same questions arise whenever you use your credit card in a café. But grid users must share resources, and so grids require new solutions. Imagine if the owner of a café were to lend some tables to another café...How would you securely track customers, orders and payments?


The issue of security is linked to trust: you may trust the other users, but do you trust that your data and applications are securely protected on their shared machines? Without adequate security, someone could read or modify your data - hence the warnings about security when you use your credit card on the Internet.

The issue of security concerns all information technologies and is taken very seriously. New security solutions are constantly being developed, including sophisticated data encryption techniques. But it is a never-ending race to stay ahead of malicious hackers.

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