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Desktop grids, which use the idle cycles of many desktop PC's, are currently the largest distributed systems in the world. Despite the popularity and success of many desktop grid projects, the heterogeneity and volatility of hosts within desktop grids has been poorly understood. Yet, host characterization is essential for accurate simulation and modelling of such platforms. This paper presents application-level traces of four real desktop grids that can be used for simulation and modelling purposes. In addition, the authors describe aggregate and per host statistics that reflect the heterogeneity and volatility of desktop grid resources.
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