Characterizing and Evaluating Desktop Grids: An Empirical Study

Derrick Kondo, Michela Taufer, John Karanicolas, Charles L. Brooks, Henri Casanova and Andrew Chien
October 22, 2003

Desktop resources are attractive for running compute-intensive distributed applications. Several systems that aggregate these resources in desktop grids have been developed. While these systems have been successfully used for a wide variety of high throughput applications there has been little insight into the detailed temporal structure of CPU availability of desktop grid resources. Yet, this structure is critical to characterize the utility of desktop grid platforms for both task parallel and even data parallel applications. We address the following questions: (i) What are the temporal characteristics of desktop CPU availability in an enterprise setting? (ii) How do these characteristics affect the utility of desktop grids? (iii) Based on these characteristics, can we construct a model of server "equivalents" for the desktop grids, which can be used to predict application performance? We present measurements of an enterprise desktop grid with over 220 hosts running the Entropia commercial desktop grid software. We utilize these measurements to characterize CPU availability and develop a performance model for desktop grid applications for various task granularities, showing that there is an optimal task size. We then introduce a new metric, cluster equivalence, which we use to quantify the utility of the desktop grid relative to that of a dedicated cluster.

How to view this document

The authors of these documents have submitted their reports to this technical report series for the purpose of non-commercial dissemination of scientific work. The reports are copyrighted by the authors, and their existence in electronic format does not imply that the authors have relinquished any rights. You may copy a report for scholarly, non-commercial purposes, such as research or instruction, provided that you agree to respect the author's copyright. For information concerning the use of this document for other than research or instructional purposes, contact the authors. Other information concerning this technical report series can be obtained from the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of California at San Diego,

[ Search ]

This server operates at UCSD Computer Science and Engineering.
Send email to