QUESTION 1. DO YOU "CONNECT TO GRIDS" OR "WALK ON CLOUDS"?
We do research on both, in particular on the application of cloud and virtualization technologies to support HPC, Grid and Cloud computing. With the introduction of Cloud computing, there are a lot of posts in the Internet announcing the extinction of Grid. So cloud is usually seen as a threat to the Grid. However, contrary to what is thought, cloud and virtualization technologies will solve most of the existing barriers to Grid adoption.
If you would like more details about this, we are giving some talks and demos at EGEE08 about how to create a virtualized infrastructure, using OpenNebula, to run a Grid site. The demo includes the on-demand access to Amazon EC2 in order to scale-out a local infrastructure to fulfill peak demands.
QUESTION 2. WHAT ARE THESE TECHNOLOGIES (GRID COMPUTING AND CLOUD COMPUTING) FOR YOU?
I see Grid as an interoperability technology, enabling the integration, virtualization, and management of services and resources in a distributed, heterogeneous environment. In the special case of a Compute Grid infrastructure, such as EGEE, Grid technology is used to federate computing resources spanning multiple sites for job execution and data processing. On the other hand, I see Cloud as a technology for the on-demand provision of virtualized resources, being virtualization the key technology to support cloud services. So virtualization, cloud, grid and cluster are complementary technologies and will coexist and cooperate at different levels of abstraction.
QUESTION 3. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THEM TO BE FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD IN THE FUTURE?
There is a growing interest in the EGEE community on the benefits that virtualization and cloud could provide. I encourage you to attend the special session on New Paradigms: Clouds, Virtualization (September 25th at 14:00). After my overview of cloud and virtualization technologies to support Grid computing, other researchers in the field will describe their experiences about the usage of virtualization in Grid infrastructures.