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'World's largest grid' demonstrated

The UK is set to host 1,000 of the machines that make up the world's largest permanent grid
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Written by Jo Best on
UK scientists have demonstrated the world's largest grid computer.

The grid is made up of over 6,000 machines, with over 1,000 in the UK alone, in 78 countries as part of the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG) - the world's largest and first permanent grid, destined to carry out research into particle physics.

The scientists expect the grid to process is 15 petabytes of data annually - that's 15 million, billion bytes. The boffins' dreams don't end there - they're hoping to push the grid bigger still.

By 2007, the scientists will have the grid made up of 10,000 computers running 5,000 jobs, with the possibility of expanding further still. Scientists chose the grid computing option for particle research because, compared to using supercomputers, it's cheaper and easier to enlarge.

As well as witnessing a grid with the computing power of 100,000 fast PCs, it will also be the year that grid takes on the mainstream. Analyst house IDC predicts that by 2007, the grid market will be worth $12bn.

The LCG was demonstrated at the All Hands e-Science meeting in Nottingham, with those involved in the project talking though the issues that affected the project.

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