MonALISA Grid Monitoring
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Jul 15, 2014

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MONitoring Agents using a Large Integrated Services Architecture

MonALISA, which stands for Monitoring Agents using a Large Integrated Services Architecture, has been developed over the last four years by Caltech and its partners with the support of the U.S. CMS software and computing program.

The framework is based on Dynamic Distributed Service Architecture and is able to provide complete monitoring, control and global optimization services for complex systems.

The MonALISA system is designed as an ensemble of autonomous multi-threaded, self-describing agent-based subsystems which are registered as dynamic services, and are able to collaborate and cooperate in performing a wide range of information gathering and processing tasks. These agents can analyze and process the information, in a distributed way, to provide optimization decisions in large scale distributed applications. An agent-based architecture provides the ability to invest the system with increasing degrees of intelligence, to reduce complexity and make global systems manageable in real time. The scalability of the system derives from the use of multithreaded execution engine to host a variety of loosely coupled self-describing dynamic services or agents and the ability of each service to register itself and then to be discovered and used by any other services, or clients that require such information. The system is designed to easily integrate existing monitoring tools and procedures and to provide this information in a dynamic, customized, self describing way to any other services or clients.


The MonALISA framework is a fully distributed service system with no single point of failure and it provides:

  • Distributed Registration and Discovery for Services and Applications.
  • Monitoring all aspects of complex systems :
    • System information for computer nodes and clusters.
    • Network information (traffic, flows, connectivity, topology) for WAN and LAN.
    • Monitoring the performance of Applications, Jobs or services.
    • End User Systems, and End To End performance measurements.
  • Can interact with any other services to provide in near real-time customized information based on monitoring information.
  • Secure, remote administration for services and applications.
  • Agents to supervise applications, to restart or reconfigure them, and to notify other services when certain conditions are detected.
  • The Agent system can be used to develop higher level decision services, implemented as a distributed network of communicating agents, to perform global optimization tasks.
  • Graphical User Interfaces to visualize complex information.
  • Global monitoring repositories for distributed Virtual Organizations.

MonALISA is currently used in several large scale distributed system and proved to be a reliable and scalable system.