The Advanced Resource Connector (ARC) middleware integrates computing resources (usually, computing clusters managed by a batch system or standalone workstations) and storage facilities, making them available via a secure common Grid layer. Complete documentation, including component descriptions, installation details, usage instructions, articles and presentations, can be found at the documentation page.
Until recently, ARC relied on largely proprietary technologies predating Web Service ones. Today, European Middleware Initiative replaces all pre-WS ARC components with the new ones. For backwards compatibility with deployed services, both pre-WS and WS-technologies are available in EMI ARC releases.
The ARC middleware by NorduGrid (in the past called NorduGrid middleware) is a software solution that uses Grid technologies to enable sharing and federation of computing and storage resources distributed across different administrative and application domains. ARC is used to create Grid infrastructures of various scope and complexity, from campus to national Grids. It is distributed under theApache v2.0 license.
In a nutshell, ARC is:
- A general purpose, Open Source, lightweight, portable middleware solution
- A reliable production-quality and scalable implementation of fundamental Grid services
- Facilitator of cross-organisational distributed computing infrastructure solutions
- Strongly commited to open standards and interoperability
- In continuous use since 2002
Selected ARC components
ARC design principles
- User- and performance-driven development:
- start with something simple that works for users and add functionality gradually
- Simplicity is a key in planning ARC development
- No single point of failure or bottlenecks - stable by design
- Non-intrusive and easy to maintain on the server side
- Tools and utilities respect local policies, in particular, security policies
- Flexible, powerful and simple on the client side
- Provide a lightweight, stable, robust and fault-tolerant system
- ARC development is coordinated by NorduGrid, with contributions coming from many projects, most notably: NDGF, KnowARC, EMI and others.
- Current goal is to gradually upgrade established and well performing and yet technologically inflexible components by improved and extended ones, based on Web-Service architecture
- The new ARC components features:
- Service Oriented Architecture
- Modular structure
- Self-sufficient core components
- Business friendly open source license (Apache 2.0)
- Portability, runs on all Linux variants, with most components also available for Solaris, Windows and Mac OS
- Integration into Fedora (EPEL), Debian and Ubuntu