New Way of Connection: 'Grid Computing' to Solve Insoluble

Jul 30, 2004

By connecting hundreds or even thousands of computers together to work on a single project, computer scientists are more frequently using a technique called grid computing to do previously intractable computations.

Grid computing takes advantage of “down time” when computers are not using their full processing power to provide quick answers to problems in fields such as genomics, engineering design and financial services. While parallel processing typically involves tying together multiple computers at a single site—all using one piece of software—a computer grid may be much more geographically dispersed, composed of many heterogeneous computers whose availability may change over time.

Computer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently launched a new project to improve understanding of how computer grids react to volatile conditions. A computer grid’s strength—the teaming of many computers—also makes it more vulnerable to failures, viruses, sudden changes in workload and cyber attacks such as denial of service. NIST researchers are developing computerized models that will help establish how vulnerable grid networks are to failure. They hope to create ways to detect failure quickly and then fix the problem.

Originally developed as a way to connect supercomputers working on extremely complex problems like climate modeling, grid computing is rapidly finding commercial applications. Already some investment companies are using grid computers to analyze shifts in financial markets in real time. And pharmaceutical companies are beginning to use them to overcome the computational challenges of developing new drugs.

As commercial applications grow, protecting such networks and ensuring their reliability will become more critical. The NIST researchers hope to complete their models by early next year.

Source: NIST

Explore further: Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA simulation portrays ozone intrusions from aloft

Apr 10, 2014

(Phys.org) —Outdoor enthusiasts in Colorado's Front Range are occasionally rewarded with remarkable visibility brought about by dry, clear air and wind. But it's what people in the mountainous U.S. West ...

Open Garden launches invite to chat off the grid

Mar 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —What, use chat on a tablet or smartphone but without any Internet connection? No chat signing-in? No password? Yes to all, with Thursday's announcement from Open Garden to introduce its FireChat ...

Recommended for you

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

28 minutes ago

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Review: With Galaxy S5, Samsung proves less can be more

2 hours ago

Samsung Electronics Co. has produced the most formidable rival yet to the iPhone 5S: the Galaxy S5. The device, released over the weekend, is the fifth edition of the company's successful line of Galaxy S ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.