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Showing posts from July, 2007

"That's not Grid!" - A cautionary tale

I don't usually attempt humour here, but see if you like this...

Once upon a time, in the far-off world of Computerland, a great guru arose and declared a vision.

"I see a future when all computers will be linked together and people will run their programs without knowing which computers are running them. People do not need to know where their jobs run; they just need the results. I call this Grid Computing!"

The people of Computerland were excited by the guru's vision. They went away and worked to make it happen. When they were ready, they returned to the guru and said:

"Oh great guru! We have implemented your vision. We can run our programs on whichever processor is free at the time, making sure that all programs can run and making best use of all our processors. No longer does one computer sit idle while another one is overloaded. Your vision is a great success!"

"No, no, no!", said the guru, "That's not Grid!"

The guru explaine…

Research grids and industrial data

What happens when industry collaborates with academics, using the grid to share data? This was one of the main issues that we discussed today in a meeting of the NanoCMOS project. The industrial partners were clear that they would have to be convinced that their valuable data will be adequately protected before they allow their academic colleagues to use it on the grid.

The NanoCMOS project is looking at the impact of variability on the design and production of next-generation microchips. It is funded by the EPSRC and involves several leading electronics companies. The aim is to make circuit designs more resistent to the variations in the yield and performance of microchips; such variability is increasing as transistors get smaller and smaller. In a multi-billion dollar industry, it is clear that the companies involved do not want information about the design or performance of their products to go AWOL.

In the B.G. world (Before Grids), companies license their data to certain acade…