With the increasing complexity of IT systems, the total costs for IT infrastructures (e.g. costs for hardware, personal, and maintenance) have been increasing significantly. The main reason for this increase stems from the heterogeneity of IT components, which augment the complexity of the resulting infrastructures. In total, the average system utilization is rather low and, as a consequence, IT resources are idle most of the time.
In addition, demand for IT resources strongly increases even though resource capacities (hardware, software) are also constantly growing but at a lower rate than demand. This tendency is mainly caused by resource intensive applications such as crash test simulations. Both trends – increasing overcapacity and increasing demand – combined with the need for flexible maintenance of IT infrastructures fosters virtualization efforts on national and international levels. With regards to the commercial usage, the central achievement of these attempts is the standardization (OGSA) and reference implementation of Grid middleware (Globus Toolkit 4.0).
In the industrial context, moving commercial applications to existing Grid middleware is only possible if organizational policies are taken into account. This includes certain standardization of related business processes, budgeting of IT costs, licensing of applications and services as well as the assignment of IT costs to single costs centers. In order to fulfill these requirements, organizational policies have to be integrated into existing Grid infrastructures and have to be extended by adequate billing and pricing mechanisms. The accounting, pricing, and billing infrastructure that will be developed within this project are based on a market that acts as a meta-scheduler. This scheduler is responsible for allocating available resources to service requests. The resulting allocation is realized on the basis of bids that prioritize the urgency of service requests and available resources. The market based meta-scheduler Meet2Market will be generically designed and implemented to act for any kind of Grid applications. Meet2Market will be realized as a service that is based on standardized communication protocols such as WSRF. As a consequence, the service will be compatible to the existing D-Grid base infrastructure. Biz2Grid offers a price based scheduler to the D-Grid community and to other related project. The virtues of the D-Grid extensions will be demonstrated by means of two commercial scenarios within the automotive industry.
The main objective of Biz2Grid is to provide foundations for an effective application of Grid technologies in enterprises. In order to achieve this goal, business and economically driven questions have to be answered and technical challenges have to be solved. The case studies gain specific attention as “best practice” for future business Grid solutions. The design and implementation of the billing and pricing component will be realized in strong collaboration with D-Grid. This collaboration guarantees the sustainability of the component for the D-Grid community. Currently, existing Grid infrastructures do not implement any price based resources allocation mechanisms. As a consequence, Biz2Grid provide the foundations for the application of D-Grid infrastructures in business contexts.
From a scientific point-of-view, business-models have to be developed that are adequate for an application in the Grid. In addition, Biz2Grid addresses technical research questions. Currently, the seamless adaption of applications to Grid technologies is hardly realizable. As a consequence, it is a challenge of the project (i) to distribute and parallelize real world applications and (ii) to conceptualize and implement economic business models at the same time. The projects' duration amounts to 36 months from July 2007 until June 2010.