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Electronic tokens that can be traded in exchange for computer resources. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022510D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue



Multi-organisational grid computing environments require a means through which access to computer resources can be controlled and accounted for. Tokens are used to represent access to a given resource according to defined criteria. These tokens are then traded or exchanged between organisations to support the wide variety of computing and accounting models present in modern business and academic environments.

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Electronic tokens that can be traded in exchange for computer resources .

A grid is a distributed computing environment. The computer systems that make up the grid may be owned by a single or multiple organisations but are typically placed in a shared pool. A user wishing to perform a task on the grid must identify those resources they need (e.g. CPU cycles, memory, disk storage, software licenses etc.) from those available in the shared pool. The grid then makes them available to the user. When the task has completed, the resources are returned to the shared pool allowing them to be reused. There is frequently a need to share resources between organisations and provide accounting mechanisms allowing cross-charging for the use of these resources. In other words, users who have the resources can make them available to other users who do not and get some recompense for this whether monetary or 'in-kind'.

    In a multi-organisation grid, participants need to be reassured that they are receiving their fair share of the grid resources in proportion to their contribution. They need to be sure that their business needs are being met, their priorities are being addressed and that they are retaining the level of control that they feel they need over how their own resources are being used. To do this requires a mechanism that allows them to ensure that they retain control over their own resources such that they can utilise them when they need to whilst still providing them to the grid for use by other organisations. It also allows them to budget for their computer resource needs.

    In order to facilitate policy-controlled access to the shared resources and allow for both monetary, in-kind and other forms of recompense, a mechanism is required that allows the use of computer resources to be traded. Resource use can be traded for money, traded for other (potentially different) types of resource use or indeed resource use can be given away for free. Such a mechanism is provided by a software system called BARTER.

    BARTER (Business Aligned Real Time Evaluation of Roles) provides a framework that allows the exchange of one computer resource for another or for other forms of recompense. The exchange is based on a given, though not necessarily similar, worth assigned to the use of a resource by both parties in the transaction. What is of value to one party may not necessarily have the same value to the other. It is the role of the two parties to come to an agreement as to the relative worth of the exchanged resources in order to perform the exchange to mutual benefit. BARTER provides real-time trading of resources based upon the currently available 'spare' resources of each participating organisation and is driven by business requirements according to a set of policy rules. These rules define how resource use is traded between organisations to get what each organisation requires and hence to assign given roles to these resources to service the original...