Distributed Computing (Not Peer to Peer or P2P)

Essay by glengem January 2004

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Distributed Computing is the distribution of workload to different users on the internet to expedite the overall task(Aspenleaf). This has been historically been known as Peer to Peer but for the sake of this essay we will use the term Distributed Computing. Distributed Computing's accomplishments include making voice over IP possible telephony(Skype) and decoding the human genome(DOE). Tasks currently preformed using this technology is looking for the cure of cancer and AIDS. Voice Over IP through skype using different particpating nodes on the network to make the task of making a phone call possible. It uses the participating node's cpu cycles to process the commands. All participating nodes must use a broadband connection, because the neccesity of available uptime and response time. This will soon be regulated and charged since millions and millions of people are starting to use skype. Skype, currently is the only Voice over IP provider to facilitate this.

Skype comes from the same people that brought us Kazaa. The way that the other distributed computing projects work through academia or privately funded organizations is that for those participating nodes a certain subtask of a much supertask is downloaded by the installed client at intervals to process using idle cpu cycles to have it upload the results of the work at intervals. The reason the who supertask isn't downloaded to one client is the frequent occurance of system crashes and unforeseen circumstances. Distributed Computing in it's many applications have been used to decrypt encryption algorithms(Berg, Jay) made famous by the movie Hackers 2 " Operation Takedown"(IMDB) and share files on the internet.


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Skype.(December 9, 2003), "Skype".

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Department of Energy. (February 15, 2001). "Human Genome Research"

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Internet Movie Database. (June 11, 2000). "Takedown (2000)".

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