Since the beginning of the millennium, High Energy Physics research institutions like CERN and INFN pioneered several projects aimed at exploiting the synergy among computing power, storage and network resources, and creating an infrastructure of distributed computing on a worldwide scale. In the year 2000, after the Monarch project [http://monarc.web.cern.ch/MONARC/], DataGrid started [http://eu-datagrid.web.cern.ch/eu-datagrid/] aimed at providing High Energy Physics with the computing power needed for the LHC enterprise. This program evolved into the EU DataGrid project, that implemented the first actual prototype of a Grid middleware running on a testbed environment. The next step consisted in the application to the LHC experiments, with the LCG project [http://lcg.web.cern.ch/LCG/], in turn followed by the EGEE [http://www.eu-egee.org/] and EGEE II programs. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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