Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Computer Science - BOINC

BOINC is an open-source software that can be used in a volunteer fashion and for grid computing. It can be found at http://boinc.berkeley.edu/. The idea is to use the processing power of computers in idle time. The easiest use is as a donation service of extra computational power to already ongoing research projects. An example is the computation of a 3-D model of the SDSS or sloan digital sky survey. This project can be found here http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/. It can also be used in a private sense in order to set up a grid supercomputer at a university by linking together the campus computers. The same system can be set up for company long term grid computing, with the application running in the background without need for screensaver graphics.

BOINC works by getting a set of tasks from a project's scheduling server. The computer then downloads executables and input files from the project's data server. The pc then runs the computations and uploads the output files back to the data server. Later the pc will report on completed tasks and receive new tasks indefinitely.

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