K. Keahey, K. Doering, and I. Foster, "From Sandbox to Playground: Dynamic Virtual Environments in the Grid," Preprint ANL/MCS-P1141-0304, March 2004. [pdf]
Although the latest definition of the Grid emphasizes the delivery of nontrivial quality of service (QoS), to date there has been little work on providing such QoS. Recent advances in virtualization and related technologies, as well as the developments of Grid protocols have paved the way for applying virtualization technologies to the Grids in nontrivial and interesting ways. This situation presents a new opportunity to conceptually model the Grid as a set of distributed virtual execution environments (sandboxes or virtual machines): a virtual playground. Such a virtual playground would enable a Grid user to approach problem-solving in the Grids in a new way: rather than fit the problem onto available resources a user would request the virtual resources needed to solve the problem and rely on scheduling software to implement the playground in the Grid. While this is an appealing vision, much work needs to be done to make it a reality. In this paper, we describe one modest step toward its fulfillment: investigating the protocols and technologies for the implementation of dynamic virtual environments (DVEs), allowing a client and manage remote execution environments.