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Distributed Computing Economics

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  • Wes Felter
    Database pioneer Jim Gray explains why all the distributed computing startups from 2001 failed: it simply isn t economical. One thing he doesn t address in
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 7, 2003
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      Database pioneer Jim Gray explains why all the "distributed computing"
      startups from 2001 failed: it simply isn't economical.

      One thing he doesn't address in his mention of SETI@Home is the
      psychological aspect of incentives: if you give someone a cool screensaver
      in exchange for their spare CPU cycles they'll think it's cool; if you give
      them a dollar they'll most likely consider it an insult. ("My computer did
      all that work for some faceless company and all I got was one stinkin
      dollar?")

      http://www.clustercomputing.org/content/tfcc-5-1-gray.html

      Wes Felter - wesley@... - http://felter.org/wesley/
    • Werner Vogels
      ... I think the main strength of the article is that he shows for what class of applications WAN style Grid computing can possibly succeed: computations must
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 8, 2003
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        > Database pioneer Jim Gray explains why all
        > the "distributed computing" startups from
        > 2001 failed: it simply isn't economical.

        I think the main strength of the article is that he shows for what class
        of applications WAN style Grid computing can possibly succeed:
        "computations must be nearly stateless and have more than 10 hours of
        cpu time per GB of network traffic before outsourcing the computation
        makes economic sense."

        > One thing he doesn't address in his mention of
        > SETI@Home is the psychological aspect of incentives:
        > if you give someone a cool screensaver in exchange for
        > their spare CPU cycles they'll think it's cool; if you
        > give them a dollar they'll most likely consider it
        > an insult.

        I think an even stronger social incentive in the SETI@Home case was the
        competition issue, people would suddenly start investing in more and
        better hardware, just to get their ratings up at the SETI site.

        --
        Werner
        http://weblogs.cs.cornell.edu/AllThingsDistributed
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