Azuresite is focussed on technology, and its application for scientific and medical research. One of the more innovative advancements in recent times is grid computing and the rise of projects like the BOINC project and [email protected]. Yet another innovation is cloud computing ("The Cloud"), which includes offerings from Microsoft (such as Windows Azure, Office 365, SharepointOnline) and Amazon Web Services (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)). Google Cloud Platform is another offering.
BOINC is used by many volunteer computing projects. Some are based at universities and research labs, others are run by companies and individuals. You can participate in any number of these projects.
The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), an open-source middleware system, supports volunteer and grid computing. Originally developed to support the [email protected] project, it became generalized as a platform for other distributed applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, linguistics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, environmental science, and astrophysics, among others. BOINC aims to enable researchers to tap into the enormous processing resources of multiple personal computers around the world.
BOINC development originated with a team based at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley and led by David Anderson, who also leads [email protected]. As a high-performance distributed computing platform, BOINC brings together about 311,742 active participants and 834,343 active computers (hosts) worldwide processing on average 11.747 PetaFLOPS as of 24 March 2016. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds BOINC through awards SCI/0221529, SCI/0438443 and SCI/0721124. Guinness World Records ranks BOINC as the largest computing grid in the world.
BOINC code runs on various operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Android, Linux and FreeBSD. BOINC is free software released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).
Extensive documentation on the BOINC project can be found at the project's wiki.
Boinc Projects for Grid Computing:
World Community Grid
The World Community Grid is a simple way to support cutting-edge research into important global humanitarian causes. Your computer or mobile device could be powering scientific research on health, poverty and sustainability.
[email protected] ("SETI at home") is an Internet-based public volunteer computing project employing the BOINC software platform, hosted by the Space Sciences Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley. Its purpose is to analyze radio signals, searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, and as such is one of many activities undertaken as part of the worldwide SETI effort.
Rosetta needs your help to determine the 3-dimensional shapes of proteins in research that may ultimately lead to finding cures for some major human diseases. See here for further details.
Non-Boinc Projects for Grid Computing:
Help Stanford University scientists studying Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers by simply running a piece of software on your computer. See here for further details.
Founded in 1997, distributed.net has grown to include thousands of volunteers around the world donating the power of their home computers, cell phones and tablets to academic research and public-interest projects. more
"The Cloud" is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in either privately owned, or third-party data centers that may be located far from the user–ranging in distance from across a city to across the world. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricity network.
Advocates claim that cloud computing allows companies to avoid up-front infrastructure costs (e.g., purchasing servers). As well, it enables organizations to focus on their core businesses instead of spending time and money on computer infrastructure. Proponents also claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables Information technology (IT) teams to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand. Cloud providers typically use a "pay as you go" model. This will lead to unexpectedly high charges if administrators do not adapt to the cloud pricing model.
In 2009, the availability of high-capacity networks, low-cost computers and storage devices as well as the widespread adoption of hardware virtualization, service-oriented architecture, and autonomic and utility computing led to a growth in cloud computing. Companies can scale up as computing needs increase and then scale down again as demands decrease. In 2013, it was reported that cloud computing had become a highly demanded service or utility due to the advantages of high computing power, cheap cost of services, high performance, scalability, accessibility as well as availability. Some cloud vendors are experiencing growth rates of 50% per year, but being still in a stage of infancy, it has pitfalls that need to be addressed to make cloud computing services more reliable and user friendly.
“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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