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Legion: Lessons Learned Building a Grid Operating System

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2 Author(s)
Grimshaw, A.S. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA ; Natrajan, A.

Legion was the first integrated grid middleware architected from first principles to address the complexity of grid environments. Just as a traditional operating system provides an abstract interface to the underlying physical resources of a machine, Legion was designed to provide a powerful virtual machine interface layered over the distributed, heterogeneous, autonomous, and fault-prone physical and logical resources that constitute a grid. We believe that without a solid, integrated, operating system-like grid middleware, grids will fail to cross the chasm from bleeding-edge supercomputing users to more mainstream computing. This work provides an overview of the architectural principles that drove Legion, a high-level description of the system with complete references to more detailed explanations, and the history of Legion from first inception in August 1993 through commercialization. We present a number of important lessons, both technical and sociological, learned during the course of developing and deploying Legion.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:93 ,  Issue: 3 )