Grid Computing Case Study

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Q2.i) Cluster computers are a group of computers that work together as a single computer to solve problems that may take too long for a single computer to solve.

A cluster computer is a group of computers that are connected together in such a way that they effectively work together as a single computer to solve problems that a single computer may take too long to solve. They could be connected via a LAN network and any problem given to them would be broken down into smaller parts to be given to each of the computers to solve. In this way the problems would be solved in a quicker fashion. In cluster computing, all the connected computers are the same computer with the same OS etc. , unlike with grid computing where they can be different.
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Anyone who has a computer can take part. They just download and install the software and then whenever their computer is in standby or just idling, the currently unused processing power can be utilised by SETI. SETI@home utilises a similar concept to cluster computing of sharing a problem over lots of different computers in order to solve them quicker called Grid computing. Unlike cluster computing however, each of the computers taking part don't have to be of the same make or OS which means that the wider general public can take part. All of the computers are connected via the internet to create a virtual supercomputer. One person can access this system of connected computer power from a singular computer.

iii) There are many applications of the grid computing system in Physics and Astronomy, such as wide scale simulations and mapping. With the help from a grid computing network, it is easier and cheaper to creating 3-D maps of our solar system and our known universe. Because the mapped places are on such a large scale, it makes sense that they would take greater amounts of calculations and would be slower. With the grid computing system, this load is broken down into smaller pieces and spread across different computers, allowing all the calculations
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Portability: If they are using it for college, would they keep it at home or bring it in. If they’re bringing it in, they would probably get a smaller screened, lighter laptop.
Capabilities: What they are planning to use the computer for will help specify whether they will need high quality graphics and processing speeds. (If they were playing games or running high performance software on it.)
OS: Linux is good for scientific programs but you need to be willing to manage it, and probably need some experience in coding which people mightn’t have. Windows is a much easier OS to use and is highly prevalent on the market and has loads of help available online and in shops. Mac is easier to manage than the Linux but doesn’t have as many programs and isn’t as prevalent as Windows.

ii) Trade offs are the things you have to consider between what you ideally want versus what you can afford or what is convenient. For example, you may want a small laptop for portability, but may also want a long battery life which would make the laptop heavier with a bigger battery. Another example would be the cost of the computer versus the features that you want on

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