Distribution of resources between different communities in production grids is the combined result of needs and policies: where the users’ needs dictate what is required, resource providers’ policies define how much is offered and how it is offered. From a provider point of view, getting a comprehensive and fair understanding of resources distribution is then a key element for the establishment of any scientific policy, and a prerequisite for delivering a high quality of service to users.
The resource allocation model which is currently applied within most national grid initiatives (NGIs) was designed with the needs of the EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) projects and should now be revised: NGIs now especially need to assess how resources and services are delivered to their national community, and expose the return on investment for resources delivered to international communities.
The French NGI “France Grilles” is currently investigating down this route, trying to define key principles for a national resource allocation strategy that would answer this concern while allowing for the proper definition of service level agreements (SLA) between users, providers and the NGI itself.
After looking for clear definitions of who are the communities we are dealing with, we propose to look at how resource allocation is done in other environments such as high performance computing (HPC) and the concepts we could possibly reuse from there while keeping the specificities of the Grid. We then review different use-cases and scenarios before concluding on a proposal which, together with open questions, could constitute a base for a resource allocation strategy for the French national grid.