Thursday, June 07, 2007

HP Pushes Open Source Grid Computing

Brazilians go nuts for grid computing | The Register: "Brazilian boffins have developed a peer-to-peer grid computing system called OurGrid, which enables members to freely donate and use spare compute cycles.

Now stable, the open source software been picked up by SegHidro, a government-backed research project in north-west Brazil which is using compute power from OurGrid for tasks such as simulating and managing reservoirs and water-distribution networks, plus weather and climate forecasting.

OurGrid was co-developed by HP Labs and Brazil's UFCG (Federal University of Campina Grande). Although most OurGrid peers are still local, it has begun spreading outside Brazil, with users in other countries downloading the client software and joining as peers, according to HP Labs researcher Miranda Mowbray.

She said that while the consumers of OurGrid power pay nothing, the system includes a resource allocation mechanism which works like an exchange of favours. It resembles a BitTorrent for grid computing, with spare capacity going into a pool for any user - including yourself - to draw upon.

'A P2P grid is a good way of describing it,' she added. 'The donation of your spare computing power happens automatically when you join. Joining OurGrid is a much simpler process than joining traditional grids and doesn't require any negotiations with human beings about your use of OurGrid's resources.'

The article goes on but the concept is really pretty cool. I do wonder about the power that is used up as an idle processor draws less power... The cost may be inconsequential to most users but on a large scale it could be a big impact to the environment(?)

1 comment:

Anderson Ledo said...

Hi, I'm a computer science undergraduate student on UFCG, and I know the OurGrid Project, it's really pretty cool !