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This paper reports on preliminary work and architectural design carried out in the "Data Management" work package in the International Data Grid project. The aim within a time scale of three years is to provide Grid middleware services supporting the I/O- intensive world-wide distributed next generation experiments in High-Energy Physics, Earth Observation and Bioinformatics. The goal is to specify, develop, integrate and test tools and middleware infrastructure to coherently manage and share Petabyte-range information volumes in high-throughput production-quality Grid environments. The middleware will allow secure access to massive amounts of data in a universal names-pace, to move and replicate data at high speed from one geographical site to another, and to manage synchronisation of remote copies.
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