To use a Grid at its full potential, the underlying network must be a managed resource. It should be managed in an intelligent way by a Grid middleware. Not much has been done in this aspect up to now; while EC-GRID developments will be based on special Grid properties, most of the network enhancements that have so far been proposed in a Grid context are actually much broader in scope. Consider the following four examples:
1. TCP was found to perform poorly in high-bandwidth, high-delay networks. For Grids, many application level communication protocols for better performance have been proposed.These protocols are based on approaches such as: improvements to TCP, new algorithms at the application layer, and employing parallel TCP connections.
2. Quality of Service (QoS) and security issues are challenging for Grids. In order to negotiate and obtain QoS on data transfers based on a WS-Agreement model (a set of protocols under development by Global Grid Forum for the negotiation, creation, and management of services in a grid). This data transfer service defines agreements that guarantee that a file transfer can be completed under a specified time within a certain confidence level. It relies on the prediction of available bandwidth, which is based on the history of data transfers.
3. A network measurements and monitoring system for the Grid is derived from the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), and it collects and stores the network performance information to provide services to the consumer.
4. The extension of the those measurement and monitoring tasks with suitable Grid accounting methods will serve as the basis for a multi-domain economic traffic management mechanisms, which will improve the QoS and security services according to user demands and their incentives to select the most cost-effective and still most useful Grid service for a special Grid task required.
The EC-GIN project proposes a new congestion control based solution. The new mechanism, which requires a more flexible fairness notion than standard TCP, can be based upon work such as MulTCP, even though this protocol is not Grid related.Grid Service invocation delay is another problem that will be overcome by EC-GIN.