I wrote an article (in Norwegian) about CERN’s Grid (a super network of computers) for Forskning.no earlier this week. This Grid, which is probably the world largest, was built in order to handle and compute the incredible amounts of data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
A short explanation – on the Internet, you can share information, while in a grid, you can share computer power.
The LHC will (when it eventually starts up again, here is latest news on the helium leak) produce 15 million gigabyte of data each year, and if we saved all that data on CDs, that tower would be 21 kilometers high.
One of the topics I got very fascinated by when I researched the article, is how ordinary people, like you and me, can contribute in different kind of Grids. In other words, we can “donate” some of our computer power to different kind of projects, for example at the World Community Grid. When I look at their statistic pages, I see that they have 1452 members in Norway. I would love to hear from some of those members on what kind of projects they are contributing their computer power to!
Grid Cafe has an overview of some other projects.