Viabilitty of Grid Computing

Written by Thom Leggett

"A Grid is a collection of distributed computing resources available over a local or wide area network that appear to an end user or application as one large virtual computing system." - IBM

"Conceptually, a grid is quite simple. It is a collection of computing resources that perform tasks. In its simplest form, a grid appears to users as a large system that provides a single point of access to powerful distributed resources." - Sun

"[The Grid] lets people share computing power, databases, and other on-line tools securely across corporate, institutional, and geographic boundaries without sacrificing local autonomy." - Globus Alliance

"Grid computing is computing as a utility - you do not care where data resides, or what computer processes your requests. Analogous torepparttar way utilities work, clients request information or computation and have it delivered - as much as they want, and whenever they want." - Oracle

Grid computing has been so heavily hyped up inrepparttar 107777 technology press this year that most major players inrepparttar 107778 software arena have staked a claim in what they see asrepparttar 107779 'next big thing'. As you can see fromrepparttar 107780 definitions above, no-one seems to be quite sure what they are working towards. Indeed it could be said that there seems to be more activity in arguing over a definition than there is in developingrepparttar 107781 technology.

So isrepparttar 107782 Grid just marketing hype or can we expect to see some real benefits from these ideas?

To tackle this question, first of all it's necessary to look atrepparttar 107783 types of application that businesses will be running onrepparttar 107784 computing platforms ofrepparttar 107785 future.

Of particular interest isrepparttar 107786 ratio between network usage, processing time and disk storage required for a particular task. The following example explains why this isrepparttar 107787 case:

Currently, one pound will buy you 1 GB of internet traffic, 8 hours of CPU time or 10 million database accesses.1

The SETI@Home project has so far used 1,643,925 years of CPU time, donated by millions of computers aroundrepparttar 107788 world, searching for patterns or signals in radio telescope data. Usingrepparttar 107789 above figures, to do this in a traditional manner would have cost about fourteen billion pounds.

However, due torepparttar 107790 nature ofrepparttar 107791 task at hand, SETI parcelledrepparttar 107792 work into about a billion packages and sent them out to people volunteering their spare CPU cycles. As each task could be described in just 0.5MB of data this required a total network bandwidth of 500,000GB which cost them about a million pounds.

A fourteen billion pound calculation for one million is a pretty good saving!

However, this relies on one key factor aboutrepparttar 107793 SETI calculation:repparttar 107794 work could be sent out in 0.5MB parcels and each parcel would represent about 14 hours of work. It is this ratio of CPU cost to network cost of 10,000:1 that made SETI@Home viable. It is worth noting that this is not a common feature of many tasks that businesses will want to perform.

Most business-related calculations that could benefit fromrepparttar 107795 huge computing resources thatrepparttar 107796 Grid promises rely heavily on access to large amounts of proprietary information. The fact is thatrepparttar 107797 cost of shipping this information acrossrepparttar 107798 network will immediately negaterepparttar 107799 benefits of having someone else managerepparttar 107800 processing resources for you.

Are You Well Protected?

Written by Roxie Hickman

Fall is synonymous withrepparttar start ofrepparttar 107776 cold and flu season. Though technically speaking, things got started a little early. Close to a million computers, mostly home PC users, were infected byrepparttar 107777 Blaster Worm virus and SoBig.F. Microsoft expects more to come withrepparttar 107778 recent discovery of another flaw waiting to be exploited. For many of us our computers are our business. We keep in contact with customers and clients via email, do extensive internet research, and transmit important files electronically. We know what to do to protect our bodies from viruses. There are some simple strategies, and even free precautions we can take to protect our businesses by keeping our PCs virus free. Adoptingrepparttar 107779 following six checkpoints will help keep your computer healthy and your business uninterrupted. Use a Firewall At its most basic level a firewall is a software security system that acts as a barrier between your computer andrepparttar 107780 outside world (the internet) by monitoring all incoming network traffic. A more advanced firewall will also monitor outgoing traffic. How you use your computer will determine whether basic or advanced firewall protection is needed. What a firewall does is make your computer invisible while onrepparttar 107781 Internet. If hackers can't see you, they cannot attack you. Windows XP has this software installed; however, it may need to be enabled. If you have XP and would like to enablerepparttar 107782 firewall, directions are onrepparttar 107783 Microsoft website. For non XP users, firewall software can be purchased. McAfee and Zone Alarm are two very popular products. Zone Alarm has a free downloadable firewall, basic version, available on their website, Before installing a firewall, you may be interested in learning your computerís vulnerability. This is something that can be checked for free and in just a few minutes. Visitrepparttar 107784 website of Gibson Research Corporation, (no need to type www), and under Hot Spots, click on Shields UP. It takes a little bit of scrolling to get to but is well worthrepparttar 107785 extra seconds. In minutes your PC is scanned and its vulnerability rated. Antivirus Software Antivirus software isrepparttar 107786 "shot" afterrepparttar 107787 epidemic. This software protects your computer from known threats. Many PCs come with antivirus software already installed. Some ofrepparttar 107788 more popular versions are Norton, PCCillin and McAfee. If you have it pre installed or have purchased it, great. Please be sure to keep it constantly updated withrepparttar 107789 latest virus definitions. This is important because these definitions are formed in response torepparttar 107790 latest viruses. If you don't have this protection, please consider getting it. Once this software is installed on your computer, you will be automatically notified when new virus definitions are available. Then it is just a matter of a few clicks to downloadrepparttar 107791 new definitions. Likewise you will be notified when your antivirus software is about to expire. The software needs to be updated annually. The initial purchase, renewal, updates and installation can all be done online. Spyware Eliminator Why am I getting all of these pop ups? Certain websites that you visit or free software (shareware) that you download, and, in some cases, hardware purchased from major manufacturers will also install tracking devices on your computer (spyware). Spyware is annoying but not illegal.

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