Usage Statistics Collection by the Globus Alliance
Beginning with GT 3.9.5, the Globus Toolkit has the capability to send usage statistics back to the Globus Alliance.
Why are we doing this?
The Globus Alliance receives support from government funding agencies. In a time of funding scarcity, these agencies must be able to demonstrate that the scientific community is benefiting from their investment. To this end, we want to provide generic usage data about such things as the following:
how many people use GridFTP
how many jobs run using GRAM
To this end, we have added support to the Globus Toolkit that will allow installations to send us generic usage statistics. By participating in this project, you help our funders to justify continuing their support for the software on which you rely.
Components affected for GT6 are:
The data sent is as generic as possible (see What is Sent? below).
Every component affected has a section titled "Usage Statistics" in its Users and Admin guides that lists precisely what is sent and the configuration control that is available (which you can use to disable the ability to send the data).
To make this a win-win proposition, we have made the receiver for the data available (follow the directions here This means that a (virtual) organization could set up their own listener and collect organization wide usage statistics.
We are using opt-out rather than opt-in. The reason is that we need this data - it is a requirement for funding. We’re sure our fellow users would be willing to help show that Grid Computing works and is in use. Realistically, however, we know that if it requires any additional effort to set up usage statistic reporting, it would drastically reduce the number of users that would actually report the data. To be effective, we need to require zero additional effort.
By not opting out, and allowing these statistics to be reported back, you are explicitly supporting the further development of the Globus Toolkit.
What is sent?
The components affected for GT6 are GridFTP, RLS, GRAM5, MyProxy and GSI-OpenSSH. We send the "how much" data, not "the what" data.
For instance, GridFTP sends the number of bytes, how long the transfer took, how many streams were used, etc. It does NOT send filenames, usernames, or even the destination IP since that would mean that the source site would make a decision about sending information about the destination site.
Each component has a section in its Users and Admin guides listing what component specific data is sent, and the Admin guide explains configurations related to the usage statistics. Links to these sections are provided here:
Header data that may be sent by every component, not including the component-specific data listed above, are:
Usage data format identifier
Source IP address
Source hostname (to differentiate between hosts with identical private IP addresses)
How is the data sent?
The messages are sent as a single UDP packet. While this may cause us to lose some data, it drastically reduces the possibility that the usage statistics reporting can adversely affect the operation of the software.
When is the data sent?
Once per "task" (GridFTP transfer, GRAM Job, etc), either immediately upon startup, or at completion of the task.
What will the data be used for?
The data will be used for answering questions such as:
How many jobs were run with GRAM last month?
How many gigabytes of data has GridFTP moved?
We will also try and mine the data to answer operational questions such as:
What percentage of the jobs run complete successfully?
Of the ones that fail, what is the most common fault code returned?
The data will NOT be used to answer questions such as "IP 123.456.789.012 sent 10 TB of data last month"
Our intent is to make the data that we get generic enough that we do not have to worry what is done with it. We record the IP only for counting purposes to know how many sites there are, but we will not produce site-specific statistics.
Please send us your feedback at [email protected]. Feedback from our user communities will be useful in determining our path forward with this in the future. We do ask that if you have concerns or objections, please be specific in your feedback. For example: "Our site has a policy against sending such data" is good information for us to know in the future. A link to such a policy would be even better.