ME and Ophelia

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Global web of PCs aims to revolutionise computing

DataGrid is a project funded by European Union. The objective is to build the next generation computing infrastructure providing intensive computation and analysis of shared large-scale databases, from hundreds of TeraBytes to PetaBytes, across widely distributed scientific communities.

BBC ClickOnline's David Reid goes behind the scenes at the European particle physics laboratory, Cern, to report on how they are working on the next generation of the net.

The Grid is the name given to the international network of supercomputers that promises to revolutionise not just the way we use the internet, but computing itself.

Just as Cern has used contractors to find the tools and talent for the job of putting the new collider [to test the Big Bang theory] together, so the Grid will employ a similar agent.

It will use software designed to sniff out where in the world are the computing resources - software, memory, processing power - for a particular task. In short, computing is becoming a utility to be piped into your home or office, like electricity or gas.

Once the Grid is up and running anyone hooked up to it will have all the programs, power and storage they could dream of.

The Grid's impact will be felt most strongly in businesses, such as design or architectural firms, heavily reliant on the latest software.

Hooked up to the Grid, and all the software and processing power it promises, the complexity of the projects a firm could take on would be limited only by the architect's ambition and imagination.

If you suspect the claims being made for the Grid are overblown and exaggerated, you might bear in mind that it was scientists at Cern who invented the World Wide Web.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 10/05/2003
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