Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Optimization of data access

Unified Data Access Layer (UDAL) developed by task 3.4 CrossGird project, provides a flexible architecture for storage nodes and data centers. UDAL allows for a very flexible optimization and control of the internal way of data accessing even if it is stored in heterogeneous devices. It is fully adaptable for future purposes, but currently is used only for organizing the estimation of data access latency and bandwidth of internal storage nodes. However, it is important to notice that the provided solution could be also directly used for other purposes. The current version of UDAL is distributed together with a set of specialized components for data access cost estimation for data stored in secondary and tertiary storage.

The implemented during the CrossGrid project life Unified Data Access Layer (UDAL) is supposed to simplify access to the grid storage and make it simpler and more efficient as well as to cover grid storage heterogeneity. This tool is a framework containing plugins, which are automatically selected by built-in expert system in order to be best, matched to the current context. Those plugins called cecomponents are divided into categories (specializations), which are responsible for different services offered by UDAL. For instance together with UDAL release a set of cecomponents for data access estimations to different storage devices is enclosed. The UDAL release bundle contains cecomponents for data access cost estimation to secondary storages like HDDs, disk arrays, san disk as well as cecomponents estimating access cost to data stored in tertiary storages (HSM) like DiskXtenter (former UniTree), Castor.

Since, UDAL is a universal platform then it might be use for different purpose. For example, it might be used as a tool for contextual service selection in grid environment. One application of the achieved technology in that filed is planed for K-WF Grid project. There are available cecomponents unifying data access to different data storages providing a universal API. The programming interface hides heterogeneity of real storage devices installed in data centers. At the moment cecomponents are available for accessing data in secondary storages as well as specialized ones for DiskXtender available trough FTP and Castor available trough RFIO.

The UDAL platform is fully expandable for future purposes. Simply writing new cecomponents or modification of built-in expert system rules can make the tool applicable for entire different purposes as well as it can be adopted or tuned to new data storing and service devices. The release bundle contains sample cecomponets, which might be used as templates for development of third-party ones. What is very important from development of new cecomponents point of view is that cecomponents can be developed in almost any programming language even whole bunch of well-known script programming tools.

One of the most important benefits using that complex solution, which includes even expert system approach, is ability of UDAL adaptation for future different storage devices even if they were not taken into account during the development process of this tool. Simply future users can easily built they own cecomponents “plugins” then describe their specialization and in the end register using UDAL tools. Thanks to built-in expert system the new plugins will be used instantly after their registration if the execution context will require that. So, in other words, UDAL can use new plugins instantly after their registration.

UDAL is supposed to be exploited by enterprise data storage centers where cost of access to data must be predicted ahead, as well as heterogeneity of device layer makes the infrastructure difficult in usage. Thanks to very open and flexibly architecture, UDAL can be easily applied to any storage center, as well as it can be easily expanded for new features by its users.

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