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The Grid Information Service (GIS) is one of the Grid Common Services which make up the basic functions belonging to Grids. This service offers a resource discovery mechanism, of which an implementation is provided by the Monitoring and Discovery Service (MDS-2), which is part of the Globus Toolkit®. Grid applications are typically the users of this resource discovery mechanism; knowledge is thus obtained about the existence of appropriate resources on which to execute jobs. Since these Grid applications are likely to be influenced by dynamic middleware, it is crucial that they experience a reliable performance for the proper utilisation of resources and for accountability purposes. Consequently, the approach taken in the paper is to investigate and evaluate a level of performance obtainable from the MDS. A better understanding of the performance of the GRIS (Grid Resource Information Service) and subsequently the GIIS (Grid Index Information Service) leads to a more standard way of formalising the performance of a Grid Information Service. This is achieved by defining a number of performance metrics which are analysed against a set of different information gathering methods and GRIS back-end implementations.