We start considering that there exists a community of users that submit complex activities (workflows) to a Grid system, containing a large pool of geographically distributed resources. The Grid is able to locate the resources more appropriate to support the requested workflow, and coordinate their activity.
The Network is a quite peculiar kind of resource, since it conditions the accessibility of other kind of resources. It is therefore vital that its capabilities are monitored in order to guide the configuration of Grid activities, keeping into account that the internal structure of the network is extremely complex, in part unknown, and dynamically changing.
We envision the Network Monitoring task as divided into two broad subtasks: monitoring the backbone network, which is a quite understood task, and monitoring end-to-end communication, which is a more challenging task. Both partners have experience in backbone monitoring, and their activity within CoreGRID focusses on end-to-end related topics.
In our opinion, a successful approach to end-to-end network monitoring in a Grid environment must envision an demand driven management of the Network Monitoring activity. This is in contrast with the usual approach that considers the network monitoring activity as a collection of permanent tasks that evaluate network performance: such an approach is adequate to backbone monitoring, not to end-to-end monitoring.
The requests for end-to-end monitoring activities should come from the Grid component in charge of managing the workflows. This fact binds the concept of end-to-end monitoring to Grid systems: the existence of a Workflow Manager is a key issue in our framework.
A demand driven network monitoring framework contains two basic functionalities, tightly integrated: on one side, the transport for requests and results, on the other appropriate network monitoring tools. The interests of FORTH and INFN-CNAF focus on these two aspects, the former being more interested in network monitoring techniques, the latter on their management.
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