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Significant technical progress in the computer science and networking, as well as the rapid increase in users' requirements for computational resources and diverse services, is leading to the gradual opening of Grid computing, which is mainly a scientific- or business-oriented application, to the consumer market. Such a scenario, often referred to as the consumer Grid, is a major challenge because of the potentially large number of dynamic resources and users (perhaps millions), high frequency of job requests, and considerable heterogeneity in resource types in the consumer market. These features will lead to several potential issues when consumer Grid services are deployed with existing techniques. In this paper, we analyze the limitations of current network infrastructures, resource discovery and management schemes and end-to-end transmission control protocols (TCP) that prevent the wide deployment of consumer Grid services. Then, in order to address these issues, we propose an integrated optical burst switching (OBS)/wavelength switched optical network (WSON) infrastructure assisted by a self-organized resource discovery and management scheme to support the consumer Grid. In addition, we review several alternative TCP protocols and compare their performance in term of throughput and fairness to select the most suitable TCP protocol for end-to-end Grid data transmission. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that these solutions have been proposed and investigated for the consumer Grid, and more importantly, all the proposed methodologies are demonstrated and evaluated on an actual OBS/WSON testbed with both control and data planes, allowing the verification of their feasibility and effectiveness, and obtaining valuable insights for deploying the proposed solutions into real consumer Grid networks.