Journal of Grid Computing

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 71–94 | Cite as

Answering the Cost Assessment Scaling Challenge: Modelling the Annual Cost of European Computing Services for Research

  • Matti Heikkurinen
  • Sandra Cohen
  • Fotis Karagiannis
  • Kashif Iqbal
  • Sergio Andreozzi
  • Michele Michelotto


ICT costs have been traditionally assessed using well-established methods such as full cost accounting or total cost of ownership. Within their specific, optimal application areas they provide very good tools for cost follow-up and strategic decision-making. However, as the scale and complexity of the system being analysed grows, these methods become less suitable. In particular, due to the complex funding structures, and the multi-supplier and cross-country nature of service provision, estimating the total costs of European computing services for research is perhaps one of the best examples of such complex, large-scale systems. Solving this challenge is crucial for the sustainability of these services: besides obvious technical budgeting challenges, difficulties in comparing the cost-effectiveness of different service delivery options make sustaining public support for funding more arduous than it should be. This paper presents a novel cost assessment methodology that addresses the above challenges and uses an in-depth analysis of the pan-European computing e-Infrastructure costs as a case study illustrating the use of the methodology. We also use this case study as an illustration of the kind of cost assessment issues that high-utilisation rate computing services should consider when choosing between different infrastructure options (for example comparing costs per core hour of in-house resources and public Cloud offerings).


Computing cost In-house vs. cloud CAPEX OPEX Cost per core Utilization Depreciation HPC HTC E-Infrastructures 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matti Heikkurinen
    • 1
  • Sandra Cohen
    • 2
  • Fotis Karagiannis
    • 2
  • Kashif Iqbal
    • 3
  • Sergio Andreozzi
    • 4
  • Michele Michelotto
    • 5
  1. 1.Emergence Tech LtdKentUK
  2. 2.Athens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece
  3. 3.Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC)NUI Galway, The Tower, Trinity Technology and Enterprise CampusDublinIreland
  4. 4.EGI.euAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.INFN Sezione di PadovaPadovaItaly

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