Harmony: A Desktop Grid for Delivering Enterprise Computations

In this paper, we describe a virtual machine-based grid This paper describes Harmony, a practical grid infrastructure built using personal computer resources. Harmony addresses the key concerns of end users for responsiveness, privacy and protection by isolating the grid computation in a virtual machine on the PC and by implementing a layered resource management architecture to divert workload to unutilized computers from those currently experiencing high levels of interaction. The use of a virtual machine separates the interactive workload software environment from that for the grid workload. Harmony also addresses the key concerns of enterprise IT by automating initial resource assignment and by automatically reallocating workload so as to meet quality of service goals. We have implemented a prototype of Harmony and demonstrated its capability to protect interactive performance. Our preferred grid workload is transactional – a key characteristic of commercial applications. The implementation uses Web Service-based interfaces, so the programming model of Harmony is compatible with and familiar to enterprise developers. We believe that Harmony demonstrates practical exploitation of a hitherto underutilized resource of considerable capability, with the potential to complement, or even in some cases replace, dedicated server-based resources.

By: Vijay K. Naik, Swaminathan Sivasubramanian, David F. Bantz, Sriram Krishnan

Published in: Proceedings of Fourth International Workshop on Grid Computing. Los Alamitos, CA, , IEEE Computer Society. , 25-33 in 2003

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