Resource Usage Accounting in Grid Computing

Resource Usage Accounting in Grid Computing

Rosario M. Piro (INFN and University of Torino, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-184-1.ch018
OnDemand PDF Download:


Large, geographically distributed and heterogeneous computing infrastructures, such as the Grid, often span multiple organizations and administrative domains. In such infrastructures, resource usage accounting, i.e. keeping track of the resources consumed by single users or entire organizations, is a non-trivial but very important task. This chapter introduces some general aspects and discusses the fundamental requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to guarantee an accurate resource usage accounting. Typical accounting procedures and current practices are described along with other related issues such as the normalization of resource usage information, the standardization of accounting interfaces, billing and charging, resource pricing, market-oriented resource allocation and economic scheduling.
Chapter Preview


Accounting is often considered as an important basic service of the Grid’s authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) infrastructure. The resource usage information collected by a Grid accounting system could be used for diverse purposes. Apart from the analysis of usage statistics and summaries for single users or entire organizations, accounting information may, for example, be exploited by an automated policy management system to ensure Grid-wide quota enforcement (Ciaschini et al., 2006).

In a commercial context, resource usage information is essential to allow for billing and charging for the services rendered to remote users. But even in multi-organizational non-commercial environments, such as collaborative Grid infrastructures used by research and academia, in which single users are usually not charged for their resource consumption, accounting information may be important for funding and cost allocation between the involved parties. Moreover, such usage data can help in predicting future demand for specific services and hence in improving the Grid infrastructure for the benefit of its users.

The need for a proper usage accounting exists also in traditional multi-user systems. But the dynamic nature, the global distribution, the high degree of heterogeneity (e.g. different Local Resource Management Systems on computational resources) and the division into different administrative domains of Grid infrastructures pose additional challenges in terms of decentralization, scalability and flexibility to Grid accounting systems (Thigpen et al., 2002). In turn, they can benefit from the Grid’s authentication and authorization mechanisms to establish the identity and credentials of the Grid users that request the accounted services (Thigpen et al., 2002).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Resource Pricing: The dynamic or manual assignment, by the resource owner, of a price to an offered resource or service. If prices are determined per unit of Computational Energy, price information has to be fed into the Charging mechanism to compute the overall cost of a service request.

Usage Record: Generally, each accounting record, that in some form describes the resources consumed by a service request, can be called a Usage Record (as we do in this article). However, the Usage Record (UR) is also a specific, syntactically well-defined XML document (Mach et al., 2006) for job usage information, that is defined by the UR Working Group of the Open Grid Forum (OGF).

Billing: Billing, in a Grid context, can be defined as the collection and processing of Charging information and the delivery of a payment request to the user or its home organization (adapted from Morariu et al., 2006 and Schnellmann and Redard, 2006). Payments can also regard virtual credits rather than true money.

Metering: The measuring of a service request’s resource consumption on the service host (or intermediate systems; e.g. routers in case of network resources) and the generation of the corresponding Usage Record to be fed into the Accounting system.

Resource Usage Service: The Resource Usage Service (RUS) is Web Services-based interface to Accounting systems, that is being defined by the RUS Working Group of the Open Grid Forum (OGF). The RUS interface (Ainsworth et al., 2006) allows for a standardized upload and retrieval of resource usage information in the form of OGF Usage Record documents.

Computational Energy: The Computational Energy consumed by a service request is “the product of a performance factor or power p (e.g. a benchmark of CPU speed) and the amount of usage u (e.g. the CPU time), which ideally should be independent of the resource’s characteristics.” (Piro et al., 2003).

Computational Economy: An artificial economy, set up under a certain set of constraints in order to make it obey a certain set of economic principles, in which consumers are represented by users and their applications (or the Resource Brokers, or metaschedulers, on their behalf) and suppliers by the various Grid resource providers and their services (adapted from Woslki et al., 2003). Note that the term “computational economy” refers also to the utilization of computers to solve complex financial problems. In this article, however, it is intended exclusively to refer to artificial economies. In the context of Grid Computing, the term “Grid Economy” (Buyya et al., 2005) can be considered equivalent.

Accounting: Accounting, in the context of a computational infrastructure, is usually not defined as in finance, since it does not necessarily (but may) involve payment statements. It, instead, is defined as the gathering (including Metering), processing (e.g., aggregation) and reporting of resource usage information. Note that Accounting itself does not include Billing and Charging. The term “Economic Accounting” may be used in an economic context in which price or cost information is included in the Usage Records.

Charging: The assignment of a cost to a resource or service consumption. This cost may be determined from the prices per unit (see Resource Pricing) and the actual amount of consumed resources, or Computational Energy, that is determined by Accounting and stored in a Usage Record.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Ruth E. Shaw
Emmanuel Udoh, Frank Zhigang Wang
Emmanuel Udoh
Chapter 1
Emmanuel Udoh, Frank Zhigang Wang, Vineet R. Khare
This chapter presents a historical record of the advent of Grid with a recourse to some basic definitions commonly accepted by most researchers. It... Sample PDF
Overview of Grid Computing
Chapter 2
Eric Aubanel
The problem of load balancing parallel applications is particularly challenging on computational grids, since the characteristics of both the... Sample PDF
Resource-Aware Load Balancing of Parallel Applications
Chapter 3
Enis Afgan, Purushotham Bangalore
Grid computing has emerged as the next generation computing platform. Because of the resource heterogeneity that exists in the grid environment... Sample PDF
Assisting Efficient Job Planning and Scheduling in the Grid
Chapter 4
Kuo-Chan Huang, Po-Chi Shih, Yeh-Ching Chung
Most current grid environments are established through collaboration among a group of participating sites which volunteer to provide free computing... Sample PDF
Effective Resource Allocation and Job Scheduling Mechanisms for Load Sharing in a Computational Grid
Chapter 5
Tevfik Kosar
As the data requirements of scientific distributed applications increase, the access to remote data becomes the main performance bottleneck for... Sample PDF
Data-Aware Distributed Batch Scheduling
Chapter 6
Gianni Pucciani, Flavia Donno, Andrea Domenici, Heinz Stockinger
Data replication is a well-known technique used in distributed systems in order to improve fault tolerance and make data access faster. Several... Sample PDF
Consistency of Replicated Datasets in Grid Computing
Chapter 7
Ming Wu, Xian-He Sun
Rapid advancement of communication technology has changed the landscape of computing. New models of computing, such as business-on-demand, Web... Sample PDF
Quality of Service of Grid Computing
Chapter 8
QoS in Grid Computing  (pages 75-83)
Zhihui Du, Zhili Cheng, Xiaoying Wang, Chuang Lin
This chapter first summarizes popular terms of QoS related concepts and technologies in grid computing, including SLA, End-to-End QoS Provision and... Sample PDF
QoS in Grid Computing
Chapter 9
Kris Bubendorfer, Ben Palmer, Ian Welch
A Grid resource broker is the arbiter for access to a Grid’s computational resources and therefore its performance and functionality has a... Sample PDF
Trust and Privacy in Grid Resource Auctions
Chapter 10
Sandro Fiore, Alessandro Negro, Salvatore Vadacca, Massimo Cafaro, Giovanni Aloisio, Roberto Barbera
Grid computing is an emerging and enabling technology allowing organizations to easily share, integrate and manage resources in a distributed... Sample PDF
An Architectural Overview of the GRelC Data Access Service
Chapter 11
Man Wang, Zhihui Du, Zhili Cheng
Resource Management System (RMS), which manages the Grid resources and matches the applications’ requests to the proper resources, is one of the... Sample PDF
Adaptive Resource Management in Grid Environment
Chapter 12
Vineet R. Khare, Frank Zhigang Wang
The need for a dynamic and scalable expansion of the grid infrastructure and resources and other scalability issues in terms of execution efficiency... Sample PDF
Bio-Inspired Grid Resource Management
Chapter 13
Yuhui Deng, Frank Zhigang Wang, Na Helian
Storage Grid is a new model for deploying and managing the heterogeneous, dynamic, large-scale, and geographically distributed storage resources.... Sample PDF
Service Oriented Storage System Grid
Chapter 14
Dominic Cherry, Maozhen Li, Man Qi
This chapter presents MediaGrid, a distributed storage system for archiving broadcast media contents. MediaGrid utilizes storage resources donated... Sample PDF
A Distributed Storage System for Archiving Broadcast Media Content
Chapter 15
Maozhen Li, Man Qi, Bin Yu
The computational grid is rapidly evolving into a service-oriented computing infrastructure that facilitates resource sharing and large-scale... Sample PDF
Service Discovery with Rough Sets
Chapter 16
Irfan Habib, Ashiq Anjum, Richard McClatchey
Due to some barriers to adoption we have not seen a proliferation of Grid Computing technologies throughout e-Science or other domains. This chapter... Sample PDF
On the Pervasive Adoption of Grid Technologies: A Grid Operating System
Chapter 17
Kurt Vanmechelen, Jan Broeckhove, Wim Depoorter, Khalid Abdelkader
As grid computing technology moves further up the adoption curve, the issues of dealing with conflicting user requirements formulated by different... Sample PDF
Pricing Computational Resources in Grid Economies
Chapter 18
Rosario M. Piro
Large, geographically distributed and heterogeneous computing infrastructures, such as the Grid, often span multiple organizations and... Sample PDF
Resource Usage Accounting in Grid Computing
Chapter 19
Frans Arickx, Jan Broeckhove, Peter Hellinckx, David Dewolfs, Kurt Vanmechelen
Quantum structure or scattering calculations often belong to a class of computational problems involving the aggregation of a set of matrices... Sample PDF
Grid-Based Nuclear Physics Applications
Chapter 20
Gabriel Aparicio, Fernando Blanco, Ignacio Blanquer, César Bonavides, Juan Luis Chaves, Miguel Embid, Álvaro Hernández
In the last years an increasing demand for Grid Infrastructures has resulted in several international collaborations. This is the case of the EELA... Sample PDF
Developing Biomedical Applications in the Framework of EELA
Chapter 21
Gerald Schaefer, Roger Tait
Efficient approaches to computationally intensive image processing tasks are currently highly sought after. In this chapter, the authors show how a... Sample PDF
Distributed Image Processing on a Blackboard System
Chapter 22
Daniele Andreotti, Armando Fella, Eleonora Luppi
The BaBar experiment uses data since 1999 in examining the violation of charge and parity (CP) symmetry in the field of high energy physics. This... Sample PDF
Simulated Events Production on the Grid for the BaBar Experiment
Chapter 23
Diego Liberati
A framework is proposed that creates, uses, and communicates information, whose organizational dynamics allows performing a distributed cooperative... Sample PDF
A Framework for Semantic Grid in E-Science
Chapter 24
Roberto Barbera, Valeria Ardizzone, Leandro Ciuffo
The Grid INFN virtual Laboratory for Dissemination Activities (GILDA) is a fully working Grid test-bed devoted to training and dissemination... Sample PDF
Grid INFN Virtual Laboratory for Dissemination Activities (GILDA)
Chapter 25
Dirk Gorissen, Tom Dhaene, Piet Demeester, Jan Broeckhove
The simulation and optimization of complex systems is a very time consuming and computationally intensive task. Therefore, global surrogate modeling... Sample PDF
Grid Enabled Surrogate Modeling
Chapter 26
Patrik Skogster
Grid computing is becoming as essential part of different business analysis. In traditional business computing infrastructures data transfer occurs... Sample PDF
GIS Grids and the Business Use of GIS Data
Chapter 27
Gokop Goteng, Ashutosh Tiwari, Rajkumar Roy
The emerging grid technology provides a secured platform for multidisciplinary experts in the security intelligence profession to collaborate and... Sample PDF
Grid Computing: Combating Global Terrorism with the World Wide Grid
Chapter 28
Salvatore Scifo
This chapter focuses on the efforts to design and develop a standard pure Java API to access the metadata service of the EGEE Grid middleware, and... Sample PDF
Accessing Grid Metadata through a Web Interface
Chapter 29
Jyotsna Sharma
Efforts in Grid Computing, both in academia and industry, continue to grow rapidly worldwide for research, scientific and commercial purposes.... Sample PDF
Grid Computing Initiatives in India
Chapter 30
Hai Jin, Li Qi, Jie Dai, Yaqin Luo
A grid system is usually composed of thousands of nodes which are broadly distributed in different virtual organizations. Owing to geographical... Sample PDF
Dynamic Maintenance in ChinaGrid Support Platform
About the Contributors