RESOURCES CAN BE EXPLOITED
Grid computing can take advantage of underutilized computer resources, such as spare processing cycles, free or available disk storage, and even servers and many other types of resources. In most corporations, there are, at times, vast amounts of underutilized computer resources, such as the resources we mentioned above, particularly servers. A desktop PC is a good example of an underutilized resource; the average PC is used for 10 to 20 percent of an eight-
day. When the
is over, it stays idle for another 16 hours. This is resource that can be used in a corporate grid. Hundreds of PCs can be connected to the grid, forming a large virtual computer with substantial power and capacity.
Storage is another grid resource. Normally each processor, server, or computer in the grid will make a quantity of storage available. Two types are available: hard disk and dynamic storage. Sometimes this can be a very large amount of storage availability, allowing for very large databases to be stored in multiple locations, thus defeating some of the limitations imposed by certain operating systems. Temporary storage is also needed with some applications, and the grid management software can locate and schedule such storage.
Fast access storage can be used as additional memory for some applications, allowing for increased throughput and quicker processing times if needed.
Servers are another underutilized computer resource, with large amounts of idle time between peak processing times. Servers can be made available to the grid as needed and scheduled for use processing grid applications or jobs. To control priorities and management, rules can set up to control processing. If server utilization rises above a set limit—85 percent, for example—then the grid processing application is passed on to another section of the grid that is not so busy. Grid computing provides the framework to utilize these resources.