Einstein@home: Harnessing the power of voluntary distributed computing - Case Study Example

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The difference in the software and architecture between supercomputer and distributed computing essentially rests on their respective physical implementations. The former involves computing power concentrated in one massively parallel processing facility, where the hardware and…
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Einstein@home: Harnessing the power of voluntary distributed computing
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1. How do the hardware and software architecture of a supercomputer differ from the architecture of distributed computing? The difference in the software and architecture between supercomputer and distributed computing essentially rests on their respective physical implementations. The former involves computing power concentrated in one massively parallel processing facility, where the hardware and software are built to power a centralized machine capable of handling massive load. Distributed computing, on the other hand, relies on a dispersed computational model to handle massive data wherein hardware is geographically scattered, may involve multiple softwares and only connected by the Internet.
2. What are the advantages of distributed computing over supercomputers for the types of applications discussed in this case?
The main advantage of distributed computing when compared to a supercomputer is the cost. In the case study, for instance, there are scientific challenges that were solved through the combined power of volunteer computers scattered all over the world. It could cost free as opposed to the cost entailed in building and maintaining a supercomputer. In addition, it is also more powerful and has a higher scalability. The sheer number of processing power involved offer higher performance.
3. What are the risks of distributed computing compared with supercomputers for these types of applications?
The main drawback in distributed computing involves security. Sharing data from spatially dispersed machines is simply difficult to protect. Networking challenge is also a critical risk factor. The volume of data being shared across separated machines could lead to loss of data or overloading. In the absence of existing computers, distributed computing may become more expensive to setup.
4. Based on examples described in this case, can you think of other applications that may be amenable to distributed computing?
Since the main advantages of distributed system is cost efficiency and computing power, it could be used for business purposes such as large scale modeling or data analysis to analyze consumer behavior or to boost growth. It could also help the medical field in terms of the speed and efficiency in diagnostic procedures and even in surgery since it could handle huge amount of medical databases. Read More
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