4.3.2 - The Internet - Distributed Computing

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  • Created by: Annie
  • Created on: 28-04-13 18:37
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  • Distributed Computing
    • What is it?
      • Processing is shared over a number of computers connected by a network (typically Internet)          _
      • Some projects require a huge amount of data to be processed      _
        • One computer cannot usually handle this processing     _
        • A supercomputer may be able to handle it but supercomputers are extremely expensive        _
          • Distributed Computing offers an alternative      _
      • Idle computers are used to analyse small packets of data and returns it back to the central computer        _
        • Most computers do not work to its full potential so distributed computing rarely affects the computer usage             _
    • Where is it used?
      • Research on Climate Change
        • Volunteers have model software installed on their computers which will process information on weather patterns and other changes in the weather _
        • This data is used to predict future weather changes over this century    _
      • Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life
        • The organisation SETI uses telescopes in order to attempt to pick up outside radiowaves     _
        • The waves take a lot processing power to detect which the company cannot afford  _
          • Distributed Computing allows for the organisation to spread out the processing over a wide range of computers     _
      • Popular Power
        • Popular Power is a company founded in 2000 that developed an application which people could install on their computers     _
        • The company was taking part in a non-profit project to develop an influzena vaccine           _
        • However, the company  couldn't raise all the money it needed to continue and shut down in 2001                 _
    • Advantages
      • Cheaper than buying a supercomptuer                         _
      • More efficient as many computers can work on many different things at the same time      _
      • Computers can be processing information anywhere in the world        _
    • Disadvantages
  • Increased security risks due to the data being so widespread over many computers      _
    • Disadvantages


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