Harvesting CPU Cycles from the Academy


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A paper that examines unharvested computational overhead (CPU cycles) typically found in most large institutions, especially universities and colleges.

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Harvesting CPU Cycles from the Academy

  1. 1. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Economies of the Grid - Thinking Small Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy A Pilot Study and Framing Literature Review Gordon M. Groat |資料來源 Doctor of Philosophy Student Center for the Study of Higher Education The University of Arizona Page 1 of 24
  2. 2. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Selected Technology The technology/information system selected is actually more of a policy than a system, at least to begin with. The core of this is the implementation of a computational grid fabric management strategy in support of collaboration with large scale data storage, retrieval, and transmission capabilities to bolster the capacity of the Arizona Genomics Institute and Computational Laboratory (AGI). While that seems narrowly construed, singling out AGI, the policy that underpins grid fabric management is meant to facilitate future grid collaborations both within and external to the institution. Grounding Literature The curious paradox exists that organizations can influence the behavior and values of the individual, while the organization itself is constructed or composed of these same individuals. In the case of Higher Education, perhaps the most telling saying with respect to “control” over constituencies involved in a consensus management scheme is one that is often quoted: “It’s like trying to herd cats.” This, of course, simply means that while it is not uncommon for the institution to have a clear vision of its desired image, the challenge is for leadership to translate that vision into strategic action items that can move towards eventual attainment of the image sought. This task is increasingly complex as more represented constituencies are involved in the dialogue and it also become more complicated the further it departs from the trajectory of the organizational saga (Clark 1972). In the work Academic Capitalism by Sheila Slaughter and Larry L. Leslie (Slaughter and Leslie 1997), the themes of shifting faculty increasingly into activities that resemble capitalism informs the political and economic underpinnings that are powerful Page 2 of 24
  3. 3. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy influences in the institution while resource dependency theory casts a hue upon the lens of analysis (Pfeffer and Salancik 1978). Finally, the notion of budgetary incrementalism and the recognition that budgeting is both a political and economic negotiation as described by Wildavsky informs the method of implementation for the selected technology and underpinning policy (Wildavsky, Boskin et al. 1982; Wildavsky 1988). Grid Fabric The institution selected is the University of Arizona (UofA) and the technology involved is designed to facilitate grid collaboration in biogenic and biomedical research. This proposal is designed to be folded into emerging strategic initiatives of the institution. Prudence guides a focus of centrality vis-à-vis the new strategic vision of the institution, and biogenic research was thusly selected as the implementation point of a larger campus wide policy of grid fabric standardization. The expression “grid fabric” relates to adoption of Globus and Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) standards, which has already been done with Condor (UnivWisconsin 2004) on the U of A’s existing scientific grid, UAGrid (UAGrid 2004). The Seduction of Academic Capitalism The University of Arizona has, in recent years, pursued a strategy of partnering with industry in various research initiatives directly related to different aspects of biogenic and biomedical research and the institution is richly invested in areas that hold prospects for technology transfer activities. This is perhaps best evidenced by significant direct investment in a large technology park. The institution has been increasing its portfolio of academic investments and it has a pattern of continually positioning itself closer to the marketplace. Such activities are reconciled with academic capitalism as a Page 3 of 24
  4. 4. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy supporting girder underpinning the construction of these institutional initiatives (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). Research in biogenic and biomedical sciences also contributes to the sense of identity the institution has. The image of the institution, however, is constantly being negotiated by external and internal parties. In addition to the dynamics of internal and external influences relative to perceptions of image and identity as described by Gioia (Gioia 1996), it should be noted that state revenues streams have not kept pace with the rising cost of education. The increased demand for finite resources combined with compressed internal budgets serves as a motivating factor for the institution to seek external resources (Pfeffer and Salancik 1978). A prudent financial advisor might encourage an investor to diversify their portfolio, so too, administrators in higher education might find it prudent to explore promising revenue streams in order to mitigate the impact of compressed revenues streams from state budgets. Political Collaboration: Flight of the Condor The proposal is politically constructed to support three interrelated biogenic initiatives, namely, the International Genomics Consortium (IGC), the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and the Arizona Genomics Institute and Computational Laboratory. This technology policy speaks to the need for a system wide normalization of data structures that may serve as part of the underpinning architecture for future grid deployments. The objective of standardizing open source middleware combined with cluster supported operating systems for personal computers and workstations that can accept grid fabric and interface efficiently with enterprise data solutions is a long term objective that Page 4 of 24
  5. 5. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy will require significant political cooperation between different research centers within and external to the institution. The object, simply stated, is to eventually siphon off significant amounts of unused central processing unit (CPU) power, sometimes referred to as “cycles”, without causing interruptions to anybody’s work. Harvested cycles can then be redistributed to other research activities. Fortunately, an existing successful model exists at the institution that is fully compatible with the selected technologies, namely, the University of Arizona Grid Project (UAGrid) managed by the Research Computing Group. UAGrid uses a Globus derivative software called Condor (UAGrid 2004; UnivWisconsin 2004). Condor is an open management system that supports high throughput computing and it has existing grid management fabric in place. Because of this existing resource, the Research Computing Group obviously has an important stake in “the flight” of the Condor. Extraction of Surplus: Harvesting Cycles Within the proposed technology policy is an action item designed to create a second grid of similar size leveraging existing resources. A second beta-grid testing site for harnessing surplus computational power is almost irresistible. It is an existing homogenous group of 233 Personal Computers (CCIT 2004), all of which are currently networked and located in the Information Commons attached to the Main Library. To mitigate any inconvenience to students, a strategy of partial utilization during off peak hours would be implemented in a similar manner to the UAGrid (UAGrid 2004). The harvesting site is situated in close proximity (<1km) to the Marley Building where AGI is housed, and it should be noted that underground infrastructure for data transmission hardware exist and are owned and operated by the institution. This potentially vast Page 5 of 24
  6. 6. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy expense is thusly mitigated and the plan requires no external negotiations relative to leasing fiber, nor are there any royalty provisions attached to bandwidth consumption to constrain the project. Harvesting in support of AGI research is a supplemental goal designed to reconcile the proposal with the strategic vision of the institution. Standardization Standardization fosters the ability to exchange data more opportunely and it is no mistake that this also sets the stage for enhanced collaboration initiatives on an international scale. This territory is fertile with opportunities for the creation of knowledge capital. Conventional wisdom could suggest the potential rewards of such collaboration might clearly outweigh what is undoubtedly a plethora of unanswered questions regarding ownership and intellectual property matters, especially in collaborations external to the institution (Goodenow 1996). The Framework for Advancement An institutional grid fabric decision package provides a framework for grid expansion while gathering a direct alignment with centralized political resources. It also seeks to extend the capabilities and opportunities for the institution to gather the momentum desired by government entities currently supporting biogenic and biomedical initiatives. By imbedding the proposal into the heart of the collaborative infrastructure of the statewide biogenic initiatives it is hoped that external resistance, if any, will be obfuscated. If the substantial commitment to biogenic research is to bear the fruit desired, then there will, no doubt, be continual growth patterns in the quantity, nature, and computationally intensive requirements of an increasing portfolio of biogenic research Page 6 of 24
  7. 7. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy projects. In order to maximize distributed resources, some management of computational overhead may enhance collaborative interaction opportunities via grid research portals connecting to geographically and economically disparate computing facilities that are beyond the capability and budgetary reality of the institution (Kaufmann and Smarr 1993). Budget Constraints It is no secret that the UofA has been chronically pressured by its operating budget constraints. The institution also has a history of consensus management and when the annual budget rolls around, it is not a shock that the traditional engagement of turf protection ensues as the annual battle of the budget grips the campus. This battle of great fame and repute is affectionately called the “All Funds” budget process. The all funds process quickly brings to mind the axiom, “where you stand depends on where you sit” as an expression that captures the essence of the “all funds” negotiations. Challenging financial environments nurture the desire of various constituents to diversify revenue streams so that their income models are not isolated to the goodwill and generosity of the central administration. This, in turn, benefits central administration by providing a modicum of financial leverage and ability to exert direct and potent influence over strategic initiatives, sometimes even acting as an incubator of certain initiatives. Campus Wide Implications The impetus is obviously designed to place a measurable increase of computational power directly into the hands of the AGI and later to other scientific research communities within the institution. This is the narrow and short term focus of the technology and the policy. The larger picture, and hopefully, the more exciting one is Page 7 of 24
  8. 8. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy the prospect of generating campus wide policy to support a larger scope scientific data standardization initiative. Technological Change When speaking of technological change, the common view emphasizes automation and other capital-intensive production devices. Such technological change transforms the nature of human interaction with work in a manner that seems rather straightforward. Organizational theories provide a framework to predict responses to the introduction of global technology changes in the institution. Image Enhancement The work of Gioia and Thomas speaks to an ongoing negotiation relative to institutional image. The notion of a negotiated image grounds the perception of strategic change. The dynamics of both organizational image and identity are constantly being revised and sometimes pushed in certain directions. Moving the UofA towards a more elite level of research is a centerpiece of a major institutional strategy entitled “focused excellence” (UAPresident 2003) and this interfaces with the notion of an upgraded institutional image. In this context, image is understood to be how the external constituents view the organization whereas identity is construed to mean how internal constituencies view the organization (Gioia 1996). Change may also be viewed as being potentially influenced by external forces while reaffirming organizational needs for external legitimacy (Gioia 1996; Drummond 2003). Mimetic Isomorphism When making strategic changes, institutions sometimes engage in a pattern of behavior that has been described as a mimetic strategy whereby the institution attempts to Page 8 of 24
  9. 9. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy become increasingly like a similar institution that has already been successful in the space the changing institution desires to occupy (DiMaggio 1983). It is arguable that one of the strongest influences as a motivator for change is money, and while that is a gross oversimplification, it still stands to reason that success in biogenic and biomedical research could carry potentially enormous financial rewards for the participating collaborators and institutions. The attraction of revenue should not be discounted, but rather, it should be recognized as a legitimate activity of the institution during a time of constricted revenue and dwindling unrestricted funds from donors and patrons. Tenets of academic capitalism provide a lens to examine the motivational factors that surround strategic decisions related to these biogenic and biomedical initiatives (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). Administrative Lattice In this case, the technology and policy selected are aligned with the quadrant of applied research (Stokes 1997) and it also represents a technological expansion of the workspace that will probably add some layering onto administrative tasks and, perhaps, be the genesis of more managed professionals (Rhoades 1998). Because a grid management team and architecture already exists within the campus, the new technology and technology policy may not be seen to have significant potential to drive up administrative costs initially. It can be argued that academic endeavors that, in fact, reach into multiple disciplines and engage a variety of internal and external constituencies are, over time, likely to add to the administrative lattice (Pew 1990). Page 9 of 24
  10. 10. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Centrality relative to the Institutional Agenda It is interesting how the differing echelons of an institution view the genesis and desired outcome of strategic changes that are relative to their own place within the institution. Once again, the axiom applies, where you stand depends upon where you sit. It seems logical to believe that the relative health of a given center, department, or college within the University depends of a variety of issues including mission centrality relative to institutional goals. In many instances it is prudent to speak to internal and external funding considerations (Clark 1972; Shapiro 1990). On the basis of centrality relative to strategic institutional goals, one can argue that it is quite likely that where units are perceived relative to the central strategic goals of the institution will have a very real and measurable impact on their bottom line over time. This can be positive or negative depending on the position occupied and the changing perceptions of centrality, but for the purposes of this particular technology, it has been intentionally aligned with research that is seen to be focally central to the short and long term strategic goals of the institution. Status of Centrality Because this technology furthers high profile initiatives of the central administration in addition to the state and federal governments, it can be argued that if implemented, it shall be seen as having the status of centrality. It is also designed to enhance inter-departmental collaboration and inter-institutional collaboration, further compelling the notion of centrality. The perception of centrality, it can be argued, tends to create a more receptive political environment especially when political participants and Page 10 of 24
  11. 11. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy stakeholders contrive their own ability to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from the deployment of such technology. Biogenic / Biomedical Inertia Since biogenic and biomedical research has inertia with various stakeholders in state, county, and municipal constituencies, there is scant need to argue for the virtue of political centrality. The key stakeholders in biogenic and biomedical research are derivative of the key policy makers in various organizations that comprise the support base for the burgeoning biogenic research initiatives in Arizona. One needs to look no further than the current Board of Directors of TGen to see an excellent example of this derivation (TGen 2004). The nexus of TGen board members and higher education include the three university presidents, complimented with the governor of the state. Of course, the remaining directors each carry their own potent basket of resources and influence. Given these circumstances, it would seem logical that any policy that embraces the vision of these stakeholders would benefit from an increased likelihood of positive reception by both internal and external constituencies. The Six Propositions The six propositions sound entirely prophetic and almost illusory in nature, but with a degree of introspection, propositions and responses began to present themselves couched in the language of higher education research. The six propositions are resultant of an overt attempt to reconcile new technology policy and new technology implementation with the greatest probability of success while recognizing the most likely detractors from this goal. The six propositions include: Page 11 of 24
  12. 12. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy 1. Centrality to the research agenda of the university as well as state and federal government. 2. Limited cost - low resource implementation strategy. 3. Enhancement of institutional image relative to peers. 4. Incremental implementation of grid fabric. 5. Expansion of the administrative lattice. 6. Competitive acquisition as a power building strategy. Discussion of the Propositions Centrality to the research agenda of the university and the state is a tactic that seeks to fold this initiative into existing high priority projects. By aligning the proposal with high profile initiatives it is less likely to meet resistance from the authors of those initiatives, namely, the central administration of the institution. Centrality alignment relative to the mission (Clark 1972; Shapiro 1990) is a focused strategy designed to maximize the potential for top level support. Because the institution is invested in the areas of biogenic and biomedical research and because a significant source of operational capital derives from federal grants in these areas, it is likely to sustain support because it converges with the agenda of federal funding agencies, namely the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The potential rewards from an alliance with powerful external funding sources like the NIH can be a seductive force (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). Limited cost initiatives, low resource implementation strategy. This strategy takes into account the cyclical nature of higher education funding as explained by Hovey’s balancing wheel effect. The strategy here is to recognize that the current economic and Page 12 of 24
  13. 13. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy funding climate has produced budget recessions and increased tuition. Accordingly, it is probably a more prudent course of action to maneuver the technology into place without competing for fiscal resources. By doing this, the effect is that of the Camel’s nose in budgeting, it gets the technology in the door and strategically locates it to be in a position for back loading onto established budget lines in future budget negotiations. The low cost low resource implementation strategy is also a backdrop to pass a standardization policy. In essence, it may be thought of as a pork barrel policy attached to a popular policy, it is functionally designed to initiate policy without invoking the political baggage associated with the need for changes in reallocated resource distribution patterns. Because of the open architecture of the existing research grid, the UAGrid, there are no conflicts likely to emerge from a policy that would otherwise seek to impose a new structure. Rather than imposing new structures upon UAGrid, this policy seeks to extend the structure of UAGrid, also increasing collaborative efforts for UAGrid and thereby enhancing the centrality of both the policy and the existing grid fabric. Enhancement of institutional image relative to peers. Seeking to enhance and supplement central initiatives lends momentum to the leadership agenda. By positioning policy to generate image enhancement through the generation of a large scale cluster in support of both students and scientific research at the institution, it gathers status enhancement for the institution relevant to its peer institutions, thus supporting the institutional needs for external legitimization (Pfeffer and Salancik 1978). It also contributes to the process of electronic reconstruction (Selwyn 1999) of the institutional image through direct collaboration with both the ICG and TGen. Page 13 of 24
  14. 14. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Incremental implementation of initial grid fabric. The proposed capture grid and underlying grid fabric are designed to function as a cluster resource with some portal shell services that could be extended at a later time (Berman, Fox et al. 2003). This is initially proposed on a very small scale with limited extra-departmental resources required, thus alleviating the potential for political infighting over resource reallocation. It functionally weaves additional grid fabric into the institutional core through an incremental pathway, reducing again, the chances of conflict in a highly political process (Wildavsky 1984). Expansion of the administrative lattice. Not all consequences of policy are seen as a positive development from all quarters. In this case, it is likely that there will emerge questions of the potential for additional administrative lattice at the institution as a direct result of this initiative. These questions are likely to be resultant of the hue that shades the fundamental differences between faculty and administration. Faculty bear witness to shrinking budget numbers, relatively speaking, while sustaining constant negotiations surrounding the production of knowledge, an area increasingly encroached upon by expanding staff and professional lattice (Rhoades 1998). Competitive acquisition attempts as a power building strategy. Another possible response may be attempts by remote administrative units to acquire control of certain aspects of grid fabric deployment and maintenance due to the proximity of the technology to central administration’s vision and the political favor of state and federal government agencies. In an attempt to expand resources, some organizations within the institution, operating out of the necessity to fight for all possible funding, may find the seduction of federal and state government benevolence to be so overwhelming as to incite Page 14 of 24
  15. 15. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy their strategic maneuvering to gather control over aspects of grid fabric policy. A number of entities immediately come to the forefront of imagination, but there is no way of forecasting precisely which units or departments may entertain the notion of a functional takeover driven by external funding promise. It should be noted that the UAGrid, which is part of the center for computing and information technology’s research computing group, can arguably be considered a potential participant in negotiations surrounding domains of interest due to their established position on campus. Patterns of Implementation Because the initial stages of this technology will address only the need for wide area data management, this accretes time to monitor the development of the data structures and their appropriate use prior to engaging any designs of expanded grid collaboration. These considerations will drive the development of institutional grid collaborations with AGI, ICG, and TGen. Incrementalism The reason an incremental pattern of development is available at all is the un- catalogued amount of computational overhead currently built into the existing infrastructure of higher education. Since there is a zero-sum zero-loss fascia sculpted for the proposal, a toehold may be gained on a very central and strategic stage, this sets the stage for a slowly metered growth pattern, thus inculcating the technology and the policy into the institution (Pfeffer 1982). Target systems can be characterized by dynamic output without extricating maximum potential benefit from resources controlled by the organization. This is especially true where computational overhead is concerned and it can be found in large samples scattered throughout the institution. Page 15 of 24
  16. 16. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Predictions Some assumptions have been made in this paper. First, the assumption that control over the proposed CPU harvest site will be relinquished without negotiation. This is not likely, but since the control resides with the library, the negotiation is seemingly a fair engagement. For all this glowing optimism, the reality is that there will be continuing negotiations with the many different areas of the institution as would be participants seek entrée to grid research in the 21st century. Gathering resources sufficient to try and exert some level of institutional management over grid research activities is a significant departure from the daily operational considerations of the institution. But if private industry and governmental research agendas are indicative of future funding opportunities for higher education, then positioning in the biogenic and biomedical space may prove to be both insightful and profitable for the institution. The Grid as an Academic Red Herring In spite of the promise grid research holds, the fact is that it has not proliferated at the exponential rates that were predicted early on. Instead it has, on an international scale, been a slower and more orderly pace. The very nature of research and how it is conducted is diametrically in opposition to the open source, open code, free sharing environment forecasted by early advocates of grid research. In higher education there are only a few scattered locations and a smattering of institutions that actively engage in grid research. Of course, all the most prestigious names are there from both private industry and higher education, this comes as no surprise because they have sufficient resources to sustain such endeavors. Page 16 of 24
  17. 17. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Faculty Interaction The vast majority of active faculty does not directly participate in grid research at the current time. Short of contributing their personal CPU time to one of the various non- profit grid organizations engaged in different research projects, there are few opportunities for most faculty to actively participate in space of grid research. An example of a non-profit research grid is “Grid.org” which boasts over 2 million member devices (grid.org 2004) and is involved with a number of different projects of scale. A grid with more than 2 million member devices is a substantial grid in scope, but the general idea, reduced in size by an order of magnitude, captures the essence of the desire to create policy that seeks increased standardization of research intensive computational resources where possible. The girders of support for institutional research may increasingly have grid components built into funding opportunities in much the same manner that interdisciplinary research has widely been encouraged. Growing Capacity Growing capacity is predicted on the basis of a well known technological principle. In the case of technological proliferation due to exponential growth in computational capacity at competitive prices, the proverbial invocation of Gordon Moore’s law (Moore 1965) is inevitable. Moore’s law states that the number of transistors the industry would be able to place on a computer chip would double every couple of years. This has come to pass and then some. In 1971 the industry placed 2,250 transistors on the model 4004 computer chip, today that number is 410,000,000 for the Intel® Itanium® 2 processor. Page 17 of 24
  18. 18. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Because these basic measures of technology have grown in conjunction with continued price reductions, the ability of scientists to explore previously unimaginable calculation sets has proliferated due to the dramatic increases in computational power available to them. This computational throughput is obviously extended by research grids and in some cases; it may arguably be the genesis of certain gains in institutional equity vis-à-vis computational resources. Correlation to Knowledge Production Grids have not become a powerful force in academe as of yet. The deployment of grid fabric at isolated pockets of the institution does not invite widespread collaboration by faculty as previously discussed, nor does it offer the promise of correlating to the knowledge production activities of the vast majority of faculty. It is quite understandable then, that grid collaborations resemble little more than an academic red herring to most faculty who are engaged in the daily activities of knowledge production. TeraGrid In spite of the slower than expected growth of grid research, tens of millions of dollars continue to pour into grid research annually (Kaufmann and Smarr 1993). One single project, the TeraGrid, with funding from one major federal benefactor, The National Science Foundation (NSF) exemplifies a strong and continuing investment pattern with 98 million dollars invested in various participating centers from 2001-2003 (National Center for Supercomputing Applications (U.S.), San Diego Supercomputer Center. et al. 2001). In short, for most of academe, grid research is not a central topic and they receive little if any benefit from grid research infrastructures. For the few major institutions that Page 18 of 24
  19. 19. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy have positioned themselves to participate in grid research activities, there has been terrific promise and dramatic improvements in research abilities in computationally intensive environments. Shifting Policy This proposed shift in institutional policy is designed to open the door to a niche specialization in the grid research environment. Granted, these are relatively new developments for the institution, but they are developments that should continue to impact progressive research initiatives in various areas of the institution. It is probably a colossal understatement to suggest that it may be while before grid research activities bear fruit for the majority of faculty to savor. But in the cases where significant grant revenues have been acquired in pursuit of grid technologies, it can be suggested that wherever those institutions engage in central reallocation of resources, some funds, as a result of an economic multiplier effect, have probably been extended into the lives of more faculty than one might suspect. Thinking Small The initial project does not call for significant investment nor does it propose a significant change in institutional policy. Instead, it is designed to be meager and small precisely because there is not literature to support the notion of grid research as an activity that will be rapidly embraced. Available findings suggest that private industry is generally not “promiscuous” with their inter-organizational collaborations (Powell 1996). Instead, they tend to solidify established ties rather than expand a significant number of new collaborations. This defensive posture presents a challenge to the establishment of a Page 19 of 24
  20. 20. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy standardized grid fabric suitable to support research collaborations outside of previously established relationships. The policy of standardizing grid fabric prepares the institution and paves the way for enhanced institutional interdisciplinary collaboration. However, it should be noted that some of the people who actually participate in interdisciplinary collaborations and engage in multi-scope research collaboration understand that data structures in different departments within an institution can be quite dissimilar; never mind the complications that are, quite obviously compounded when extending to other institutions, governmental agencies, or private corporations. Anderson notes that such differences can literally amount to what is essentially a function of comparing apples and oranges (Anderson 2001). This is insightful and it supports the findings of Powell relative to industry preferring to deepen existing successful ties rather than explore new and uncharted collaborative projects. Promise with Caution Wildavsky wrote about the political process associated with budgeting and he painted a vibrant picture of how budgets are negotiated, highlighting the illustration with the hue of understanding that negotiations continually shape the process. Still, it seems that whenever corporations of substantial size and reputation enter into the equation, elements of the institution become more willing to be adventurous; they seem willing to assume more risk for the promise of greater reward. International Business Machines (IBM) has created strategic alliances with higher education, with ICG, and of course, with TGen. These arrangements predictably include an architecture to deploy Globus on Linux clusters using WebSphere to exploit the Open Page 20 of 24
  21. 21. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Grid Services Structure (TGen 2003). This combined with a nexus of federal grant money from the NIH, state and municipal funding, and substantial private foundation support have combined to make it a deliciously attractive forum for institutional involvement. The shifting priorities of the federal government also constitute a reason to proceed with caution in the advancement of the notion of federal grants as a stable or predictable source of revenue. While this certainly seems to favor the proximal growth of grid research, it is by no means a guarantee of any extensive period of financial well being. The federal government enjoys the prerogative of shifting funding priorities in addition to shifting certain responsibilities onto state and local governments (Hovey 1999). Recognizing and managing these research efforts independently of federal funding may one day prove to be the only way to sustain such activities, but for the present and foreseeable future, the contrary is true. Summary Framing the six propositions with organizational theory produced a theme that weaved a story reflective of the influence of academic capitalism. Contextualizing the active environment and examining possible responses and patterns of implementation has drawn heavily on themes of external power as well as discussions of image and identity. Finally, in an attempt to obfuscate resistance, the tenets of resource dependency theory are imbedded in the efforts to avoid conflict over scarce resources. Recognizing that any new policy or technology is likely to be received with a cautionary eye, it was thought to be prudent to bundle the policy with existing initiatives in order to gain centrality while folding the technology into existing infrastructure. Page 21 of 24
  22. 22. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy It is hoped that the technology would gather sufficient support through the nature of its relative positioning in the institution. But in the event it does not, it is hoped that the greater good of the initiative is really to establish a policy of standardization at the early stages in the development of grid research activities such that it will sustain a unified movement for a standardization of the grid fabric not only in the institution, but also on a local and state level. Page 22 of 24
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  24. 24. Harvesting Excess CPU Cycles From The Academy Slaughter, S. and L. Leslie (1997). Academic capitalism: politics, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Stokes, D. E. (1997). Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Washington, D.C., Brookings Institute Press. TGen (2004). TGen Board of Directors, Accessed Oct. 6, 2004, http://www.tgen.org/about/index.cfm?pageid=33. TGen, T. G. R. I. (2003). TGen, Arizona State University, and International Genomics Consortium Select IBM Technology for Research on Genetic Links to Diseases, Collaboration Includes Joint Research to Identify the Genetic Markers for Various Cancers, Accessed Oct. 5, 2004, URL: http://www.tgen.org/news/index.cfm? newsid=25 UAGrid (2004). The University of Arizona Grid Project, Accessed October 7, 2004 URL: http://uagrid.arizona.edu/ UAPresident (2003). Focused Excellence, Accessed October 6, 2004, URL: http:// http:// president.arizona.edu/initiatives/focused-excellence/ University of Wisconsin (2004). "Condor High Throughput Computing."Accessed October 7, 2004, URL http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/ Wildavsky, A. B. (1984). The politics of the budgetary process. Boston, Little, Brown. Wildavsky, A. B. (1988). The new politics of the budgetary process. Glenview, Ill., Scott, Foresman. Wildavsky, A. B., M. J. Boskin, et al. (1982). The Federal budget: economics and politics. San Francisco, Calif. New Brunswick, U.S.A., Institute for Contemporary Studies; Distributed by Transaction Books. Page 24 of 24