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The ESP-GRID project is investigating how Shibboleth offers solutions to issues of grid authentication, authorisation and security. It will also reappraise the use of PKI within the UK e-Science Grid and grids in general and aims to produce a roadmap for integrating the e-Science Core Programme Production Grid within the JISC Information Environment (IE). In short, is Shibboleth appropriate and workable for grids? How appropriate is PKI, even though it has already been adopted? How can the access management regime between the e-Science Grid and the JISC IE interoperate? The overall aim of this project is to achieve a deeper understanding of the potential role that Shibboleth can play in grid authentication, authorization and security. The specific objectives are: To formulate a picture of current and future requirements of grid security; To postulate the relevance of Shibboleth to grids and its possible relationships with PKI; If/where Shibboleth is relevant, to examine possible interfaces between existing information environments and grid computing environments using Shibboleth, and PKI where appropriate; (If and) Where Shibboleth has been shown to be able to play a beneficial role in grid access management, a prototype grid should be modelled and developed; Building on the above, routes for migration and/or integration should be proposed in order to achieve interoperability with regard to access controls between existing PKI-based grids and information environments. The project methodology is part review, part technical development and part architecture analysis and configuration. The requirements analysis should be possible from existing studies and from consultation. Analyses of 'best fit' and possibilities for building alternative architectures are likely to be carried out using both practical and theoretical approaches. The technical development of a Shibboleth infrastructure will be necessary and this will be shared between the Shibboleth Enabled Portals and Information Environments (SPIE) project also based at Oxford University Computing Services. Finally, the construction of a prototype computational grid using the new (proposed) security infrastructure will be largely a practical undertaking. One of the major benefits arising from the project should be a clarification of the functional requirements of grid security, authentication and authorisation. Insight into the future relationship between traditional information environments and grid computing applications should be forthcoming. It is intended that the project will serve to assist in the convergence between the access management and security approaches between grid computing and traditional information environments. Specifically, the project should increase the awareness of how PKI and Shibboleth can fulfil the functional requirements of grids with regard to security, authentication and authorisation. This should benefit developers and grid managers in choosing architectures and methodologies for grid applications. Project start date: 2004-07-01. Project end date: 2006-03-31. (Excerpt from this source)

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